Dhule/ Pune: A total of 23 persons from 14 villages in Dhule district have been arrested in connection with the lynching of five persons on Sunday following rumours that they were ‘child lifters’.
Meanwhile, family members of the deceased persons, who hailed from Solapur and Karnataka, accepted the bodies at 4 pm only after various written assurances from District Collector Rahul Rekhawar including house, government job for their kin and education expenses of their children besides Rs 5 lakh compensation for each of them. The government has also assured them of security. The case will be investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The kin of the deceased had refused to accept their bodies, demanding stern action be taken against the killers. They had camped on Pimpalner-Sakri Road and rued the fact that no government representative came to meet them till 1 pm on Monday.
Bharat Shankar Bhosale (45); his brother, Dadarao Shankar Bhosale (36) and Bharat Shankar Malwe (47), all hailing from Khave village in Solapur’s Mangalvedhe taluka, and Agnu Ingole (20) from Manewadi village in Mangalvedhe, and Raju Bhosale (47) from Gondwun in Karnataka, were bludgeoned to death by a mob in Rainpada hamlet in Sakri taluka of Dhule district on Sunday on the suspicion of them being child-lifters.
All belonged to a nomadic community, Nath Panthi Davari, that derives sustenance by begging for alms.
Painful and cruel incident: Fadnavis
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced that Advocate Ujjwal Nikam will be appointed as public prosecutor in the case, which will be fast-tracked.
Describing the Dhule lynching incident as ‘very painful and cruel’, Fadnavis said, “The way five people were killed merely on the basis of suspicion is unfortunate and cruel. The police have acted swiftly in this case and the people (involved in the incident) are being arrested. The police moved swiftly the moment Panchayat Samiti chairman called up informing them about the incident. But the place (where the incident occurred) was 35 to 40 km away (from the police station) and till the police could reach the spot the incident had already taken place. The government will try to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future.”
An uneasy calm prevailed in Rainpada hamlet on Monday, where the vigilante action occurred. After the incident on Sunday noon, except for old men and women, most persons in the hamlet fled to the jungles as the police came in large numbers along with the superintendent of police. Earlier, a few policemen were injured and their vans damaged.
(With PTI inputs)