Mumbai, July 2: With the lynching of five mendicants (bhikshus) on Sunday threatening to snowball into a controversy, the Maharashtra government on Monday announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the kin of each victim, and other assistance while at least 23 suspects were arrested. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while making the announcement of compensation, appealed to the people not to get misled by rumour-mongering on social media and to approach police for help instead of taking the law in their hands. Simultaneously, police in Dhule arrested at least 23 people in connection with the lynching of the five persons in a public place in Rainpada tribal village on Sunday afternoon, sending shockwaves across the state. They have been remanded to police custody till July 6. All closely related, the victims hailed from Solapur district and belong to the nomadic ‘Nath Gosavi’. They were identified as Dadarao Shankar Bhosale, Bharat Shankar Bhosale, Raju Bhosale and Bharat Malve of Khave village and Anagu Ingole of Manewadi village – both located in the Mangalvede tehsil of Solapur.
They were part of a larger group which had come by a state transport bus from Solapur to Dhule to set up their camps on the outskirts of Pimpalner. When they deboarded in Rainapada village, a weekly tent-market was underway and one of them was espied speaking with a young girl. This led to rumours that they could be child-kidnappers and a large number of villagers attacked them with sticks, stones and bricks near the Gram Panchayat office. Earlier on Monday, their kin refused to accept the bodies but were later convinced by the Dhule Collector Rahul Rekhavar and Superintendent of Police M. Ramkumar. The bodies are en route to Solapur for the final rites, said a police official.
The families have demanded a case of murder and abetment to murder be lodged against the sarpanch of Rainpada as the attack took place in the gram panchayat office and the cases be tried in a fast track court. (IANS)