Police vehicles damaged by the mob at Gadchinchale village | By special arrangement
Police vehicles damaged by the mob at Gadchinchale village in Palghar, Maharashtra, where the two sadhus were lynched | By special arrangement
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New Delhi: Almost 40 days after two Hindu ascetics associated with the Juna Akhara and their driver were lynched in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to send a fact-finding team to the region. 

VHP general secretary Milind Parande told ThePrint that the team will investigate the case from a new perspective and determine the possible “involvement of communists and Christians”.  

“So far some local people have visited Palghar and have informed us about the ground situation prevailing there. Due to the lockdown, we could not send our own team for investigation. But now we are making arrangements to send one of our fact-finding teams to Palghar soon,” Parande said. 

“Its members will include women, retired judges, senior persons from the saint community as well as some VHP officials. They will visit the crime spot and will compile a report,” he added. “The team will then hand over this report to the Maharashtra government. Our only objective behind this endeavour is to ensure justice.” 

Parande also slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. 

“Killing of these sadhus in Palghar was very unfortunate. The Maharashtra government should think about this and make an effort to protect the symbols of Hindu faith,” he said. 

While the members of the fact-finding team are yet to be announced, Parande said the team’s mandate has been finalised.

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“With the help of this fact-finding team, we want to ascertain what really happened in Palghar. Many anti-Hindu forces are active in the Palghar area. Several facts might be revealed through the investigation by this team,” he said.

“Its mandate is to also investigate the possible role of communist organisations, political and non-political entities as well as Christian missionaries who are engaged in corrupting and destroying Hindu faith in many places including Palghar. Several forces are working in tandem to destroy our society.”

The three victims — ascetics Kalpvruksh Giri, 70, and Sushil Giri, 35, and their driver Nilesh Telgade, in his 30s — were lynched on the night of 16 April at Gadchinchale village of Palghar district.    

They were headed to a funeral in Silvassa in a Ford EcoSport car but they were stopped by Dadra and Nagar Haveli police at the border and turned back.

On their return journey, they hit a dirt road before reaching Gadchinchale, where they were lynched.

The video of the incident had gone viral amid claims of a communal angle on social media, which prompted the chief minister to step in and say that no Muslims were involved. 

Also read: Palghar lynching: Muslims, Christians usual suspects. No one blamed Facebook, WhatsApp

Similar team visited Mewat & submitted report to Haryana govt

Parande said that a similar team was sent to Mewat in Haryana, to  probe “prosecution of Hindus there”, and that it has submitted its report to the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government. 

“One of our teams had recently visited Mewat for investigation. Team members met with several people there,” he said. “Many shocking facts have come out in its report. We have already submitted this report to the state government. We have also demanded swift action.”

The three-member team included General G.D. Bakshi (retd), the VHP’s Swami Dharmadev and advocate Chandrakant Sharma. 

“During the course of the committee’s investigation, it was revealed that constant attacks are taking place on Hindu families all over Mewat. Hindu families are migrating due to continuous persecution,” Parande said. “In the last 25 years, about 50 villages have become devoid of Hindus. Personal properties of several Hindu families along with public and temple properties are being forcibly occupied.”

Parande alleged that similar attacks on Hindus are taking place in parts of West Bengal.  

“After the lockdown, people from our organisation will raise awareness about these cases while staying well within the purview of the law,” he said. “Women are being attacked at several places inside the state. WB police and the local administration are not paying any attention to such attacks. Instead the state government is patronising the mischievous elements who are committing such crimes.”

Also read: Sharad Pawar has taken lead role in Maharashtra Covid crisis, and Shiv Sena doesn’t mind


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