Nineteen more people have been arrested by the Maharashtra Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the lynching of two sadhus
by a mob in Palghar on April 16, 2020.
Five juveniles were also detained by the police in connection with the brutal assault, which took place in Gadchinchale village under Kasa
police station limits of the district.
Those arrested included a 70-year-old man, an MTech degree holder and a professional employed as a manager in a well-known company. So far, 248 of the accused have been arrested for the mob violence of which 105 have already been granted bail.
The incident was fuelled by WhatsApp rumours of thieves operating in the area during the countrywide coronavirus lockdown. The vigilante group of villagers had mistaken the three passengers as thieves and killed them.
The lynching victims had been identified by the police as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) and their driver, Nilesh Telgade (30).
The incident attracted nationwide outrage on April 19 after the videos went viral on social media and the Maharashtra government drew criticism.
Opposition leaders, including former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident.
On April 20, Mahant Hari Giri, the Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara, demanded swift action against the culprits and police personnel for inaction.