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What made saffron leaders of BJP maintain long silence on Palghar mob lynching?

Palghar lynching incidence is an horrific and extremely condemnable incident indeed. We should think about the environment who created it, as it is common in the incumbent regime. The shocking incident took place on the night of April 16 in Palghar district of Maharashtra when two ascetics Mahant Kalpavruksha Giri and Sushilgiri Maharaj were travelling in a vehicle driven by Nilesh Telgade to Gujarat for attending a funeral. The aforesaid three individuals were lynched by a mob who allegedly suspected them to be child kidnappers after they reached Gadchinchale village in Dahanu taluka. Moreover, Palghar murderers and victims are from the same beliefs, despite that some poisonous elements intentionally communalizing it, this mentality of some misguided people certainly is more dangerous than coronavirus and they are the real enemies of India. Till today no one knew who those sadhus were or if they ever existed or not, but now all of sudden they have become a political tool.

Look at the irony, the main opposition party and its leader Devendra Fadnavis gave his statement after 66 hours of the incidence, almost after two and half day. Why was he silent all this while for so long? Yesterday (Wednesday) Arnab Goswami a TV anchor was attacked at 12.15 am midnight and immediately the very next morning BJP gave statement/reaction in series. Arnab was attacked as he blamed Sonia Gandhi for Palghar attacks and for that attack, BJP rendered immediate reaction. The Palghar mob-lynching videos that show three individuals, including a 70-year-old, being beaten to death with sticks by an angry mob have gone viral. Now, it must be mentioned that the incident was first reported on Friday, April 17. The outrage however began almost two to three days later, when the incident caught the attention of officials and politicians at the national level. This seems to have been triggered at least in part by a video of the incident that appeared on social media two days after the brutal incident. When the news first broke on TV on the 17 April, no BJP leader or any other political or social activist reacted on it. Despite its horrific nature, it was viewed as a simple, run of the mill crime story by almost everyone. Maharashtra has faced some incidents of mob-lynching or mob-beating on the suspicion that victims are thieves in the past too – which might have helped normalise this incident. The video however appears to have been a game changer. Suddenly, we had visuals of a Hindu sadhu being beaten to death and many were quick to jump in with a newfound communal angle to the story. That’s how, there was glitter in Devendra’s eyes, he saw some immediate future for BJP and after a long pause finally reacted after 66 hours. It is Hindu Sadhus whom Devendra Fadnavis gave separate stage presence in Wankhede Stadium during his Oath ceremony. It is Hindu Sadhus about whom he constantly talks and because of those Hindu Sadhus they recite “saffron saffron” all the time. But on those Hindu Sadhu’s attack, his reaction comes after third day? Why?

The village Sarpanch is of BJP, there are so many BJP karyakartas in that village. From Last five years BJP had a Member of Parliament here, so how did he missed getting any information about the lynching? Suppose he might have got the information, then what was the reason for keeping silent? Is it that the reason that Devendra felt that Uddhav Thackeray may someday get frustrated and come out of alliance and then BJP can find its path towards power? In the greed to retain power, he sidelined his basic ideology? The narrative of saffron has gone missing in his gesture while reacting to Palghar lynching.

Madhu Chauhan, Madhav Bhandari, Chandrakant Patil, Girish Vyas, like leaders who have strong RSS background, how come they afford to keep soundless on such atrocious issue? It’s the BJP supporters who started flooding the social media with tweets and posts and then the matter went wide spread. Till the time BJP leaders wake up it was too late to react. BJP’s Pravin Darekar was totally unaware of any such incident, until people poked him, he was not even updated about the happenings around. Once Devendra’s strong statement got aired, then CMO and Home Minister followed & gave their statements. By doing some damage control, one BJP leader reached driver’s family with one lakh check, he clicked many photo graphs and circulated it in media for publicity and his part was done. TV channel’s financial claims of funds assimilated for their family members is not credited in their accounts yet.

More than the party leaders, its BJP supporters who were vocal on Palghar lynching. On social media platforms, right-wing-activists were demanding that the probe be handed over to the CBI or NIA and finally, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi government has handed over the probe to State-CID. Maharashtra government also suspended two policemen for alleged negligence of duty in the wake of lynching of three men. Uddhav Thackeray has already ordered a high-level probe into the Palghar lynching incident while saying that culprits will be brought to justice. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also sought a report from Maharashtra government over the Palghar mob lynching incident.

As the matter started heating up on social media, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke to Maharashtra CM regarding the incident. Adityanath urged Uddhav Thackeray to take strict action against the culprits involved in the lynching of three men in Palghar district. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, meanwhile, warned that seers from across the country will march to Maharashtra in protest against the Palghar mob lynching incident if stern action is not taken against culprits. Looking at high level drama, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar opened up saying it is condemnable and unfortunate. Backing Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, he said that the CM is doing all that he can.

However, some videos have emerged which show police personnel standing mutely even as the mob was attacking the three persons. This has come in for a lot of criticism from leaders across the political spectrum. According to the Maharashtra Police, 110 accused persons including 9 juveniles have been arrested for the mob-lynching. The adults are in police custody while the latter has been sent to a children’s home. As the time flew, the news and posts on Sadhu’s took back seat and Arnab Goswami is new sentimental subject for BJP and its supporters, this time they did not delay even for an hour. Rather they were ready with their script much in advance by trending the hashtags on social media. Collectively, the right wingers find new joy by tarnishing Sonia Gandhi with utmost abusive language and expressions, who is still a fear factor for nation’s largest ruling party BJP. Gradually after three days everybody has started speaking on it and Palghar mob lynching has become wildfire issue, but people are wondering as why PM Modi is still silent on this incident?

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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