The Dhule lynching case will be tried by a fast-track court and it would be ensured that stern punishment is given to the guilty, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the legislative assembly on Monday.
The July 1 lynching of five people, members of a nomadic tribe, by a mob in Dhule district on suspicion that they were child-lifers was an inhuman act, he said.
“The inhuman act of lynching people on the suspicion that they were child lifters showed how the beast in a human being can come to the fore.
“Police rushed to the spot immediately after a Panchayat Samiti member alerted them about the incident.
“But the village is 40km away (from the district headquarters) and when the police reached the site, the victims had already been lynched,” Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio, told the House.
“The video footage of the incident is with the police and all the culprits would be booked based on the available evidence. Nobody will be let off,” Fadnavis said, replying to a debate on the issue of lynchings raised by Bharat Bhalke of NCP.
He said the case will be tried by a fast-track court and assured the House of stern punishment to the guilty.
The Chief Minister said a rehabilitation policy for members of the nomadic tribes will be prepared. The families of all the victims will also be rehabilitated.
Bhalke lamented that the police did not act in time to save the victims, who belonged to the Davri Gosavi community.
The NCP legislator said the families of the victims are not going to benefit much from the government’s promise of providing them jobs as the tribal community has low level of literacy.
“The families of the victims have been given compensation from the Chief Minister’s Fund and an assurance has been given to provide them government jobs. But, children of the community don’t study, so how will they get government jobs,” he asked.
The opposition MLA said the compensation (Rs 5 lakh each) announced for the kin of the victims was inadequate and demanded a rehabilitation scheme for the Davri Gosavi community on the lines one announced for the Pardhi tribe.
The lynching incident in Dhule’s Rainpada village in North Maharashtra sent shock waves across the state and the country. Over two dozen people have been arrested till now.
According to the videos which went viral, one of the five victims apparently tried to speak to a six-year-old girl after which they were pounced upon, stoned and thrashed with sticks and chappals by a mob.
The provocation was apparently some rumours on social media that suggested that a gang of child-lifters was active in the area in North Maharashtra.