On their way to Surat to attend a funeral, were dragged out of a car and beaten to death by villagers. (Photo Credit: News Nation Photo)
Three men from Mumbai, on their way to Surat to attend a funeral, were dragged out of a car and beaten to death by villagers in Palghar district of Maharashtra on suspicion that they were thieves, police said on Friday. An initial response team of the police could not save them as it was heavily outnumbered and the victims were beaten up even inside the police vehicle, a senior official said.
Inspector Anandrao Kale of the Kasa police station said the gruesome incident took place between 9.30-10 pm on Thursday. The mob attack took place at a time when a nationwide lockdown is in force to curb the spread of coronavirus. A police official identified the deceased as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) their car driver Nilesh Telgade (30), all three hailing from Kandivali in north Mumbai.
They were heading to Surat to attend a funeral, a police official said. The car was stopped on the Dhabadi-Khanvel road near village Gadchinchale by local residents, he said. They were pulled out of the car and attacked by villagers with stones and other objects on suspicion that they were thieves, he said. Additional Superintendent of Police Vijay Sagar told PTI that an initial response team of the police (which typically has three or four personnel) reached the spot and tried to rescue the victims by putting them in the police vehicle.
But the mob attacked the victims even inside the police vehicle and the police personnel, who were heavily outnumbered, could not do anything, he said. Rumours of a gang of bandits roaming in the district were circulating in the area, Sagar added. An offence under IPC section 302 (murder) along with other sections, including armed rioting and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), has been registered, inspector Kale said.
IPC section 188 has been invoked in the case due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown under which sweeping curbs have been imposed on movement and assembly of people, he said. Officials said combing operations were continuing in Gadchinchle village to nab members of the mob involved in the gruesome act. The area has seen similar mob incidents in the past, an official said. Two days ago some police personnel were attacked while probing the assault on a doctor.