A fact-finding committee that undertook a study on the lynching of two sadhus and their driver in Palghar, Maharashtra, on April 16 has called upon the state government to order an independent probe by an agency like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA), as it suspected the involvement of ‘anti-national’ and ‘anti-Hindu’ forces in the crime. The victims – Kalpavrikshagiri Maharaj, 70, his assistant Sushilgiri Maharaj, 35, of the Juna Akhada, and their driver Nilesh Telgade, 30, who were on their way to attend a funeral in Gujarat -- were dragged out of their vehicle and brutally lynched by a group of people in Gadchinchle village.
The panel was set up by Vivek Vichar Manch, a think tank. According to Shri Ambadas Joshi, who led the team, local Left-wing organizations operating in the area have created an atmosphere of “hatred” against the government and Hindu religious leaders, sadhus and sanyasis, which led to the crime. He said, “The role of organisations such as, Kashtakari Sanghatna, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, Bhumi Sena is blamed by various persons named in the material, to be responsible for spreading hatred amongst some Adivasi groups towards persons following Hindu practices, and those who follow or propagate those.”
Expressing distrust over the Maharashtra Police investigation, the committee members said the police had initially tried to sweep the case under the carpet. The state government ordered investigations only after the videos of brutal lynching surfaced. The panel members raised several questions on the conduct of investigation by the state police and its theory that the murders were the result of mistaken identity. The police totally ignored the role of the above-mentioned organisations in spreading hatred in the minds of the youths. The organisations, inspired by extremist Left ideology, have been instigating youths to undertake violent activities against Hindus and government agencies. “The organisations such as Kashtakari Sanghatana and Adivasi Ekta Parishad have been involved in spreading militancy/lawlessness and separatist thoughts among tribals,” the report stated.
Making a serious allegation, Shri Ambadas said these outfits were supported by certain Christian groups. Exposing Christian links with the outfits, he further said, “on April 26, 2018, Fr Nicholas Barla, an executive secretary of tribal affairs of CBCI represented Adivasi Ekta Parishad in UNO. The conference organised by Adivasi Ekta Parishad was sponsored by Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. The news letter of CBCI reveals the agenda of the Church”. In the name of imposition of the Saffronisation on tribals Adivasi Ekta Parishad has coordinated a preparatory meeting for one of the events of CBCI.
According to the report, the organisations in the area opposed the CAA and NRC by bringing outsiders. They also spread hatred by claiming that country does not run in accordance with the Constitution. “The Chikhale Gram Panchayat passed a resolution against constitutional governance of the country in the Gram Sabha in May 2017. The person who initiated the resolution is an activist of Adivasi Ekta Parishad,” the report said.
The report exposes the role of CPI(M) in radicalising the youths in the area. “…The activists of CPM used to mount pressure on the youths to follow its ultra Leftist ideology. They initiate quarrel among Adivasis and also influence police officers. They resist and prevent the police from filing cases against them.”
The organisations such as the Kashtakari Sanghatna, All India Kisan Sabha, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, and Bhumi Sena, are lead organisations which opposed Bullet Train and Mumbai–Vadodara Highway projects in the guise of protecting the interests of Adivasis. “These organisations oppose all development projects. At the same time, they clamour at the top of their voice that the government is not doing any development in tribal areas. They send their representatives to the Gram Sabha which are conducted under the PESA, and they influence the Sabha to pass a resolution against any development project and send the resolution to the government,” the report stated.
Shedding light on the anti-Hindu activities being undertaken by these outfits, the report stated: “The organisations such as Adivasi Ekta Parishad and Adivasi Shramik Sanghatana made representations to stop immolating effigy of Ravan on the occasion of Dussehra. They threatened to lodge complaints under various laws in relation to attempt to immolate the effigy of Ravan on the ground of intimidation and hurting religious feelings of Adivasis. They falsely propagate and argue before Adivasis that Ravan is the deity of Adivasis.”
The Left-wing organisations have been running a formidable anti-Hindu campaign among youths to aggravate social schism. They preach that Adviasis are not Hindus and that worshiping Hindu gods amount to enslavement of tribals.
The report stated that Hindu organisations were targeted by activists of these outfits. “On a number of occasions, attacks were made on the hostel of Vanavasi Vikas Prakalpa, causing injury to the persons and property. The ideological opposition seems to culminate into violence. The violence has resulted in the killing of Devu Bender, a devoted activist of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. The violent attack was made on Wamanrao Sahastrabudhe and his wife, who were volunteers at the hostel. Smt Sahastrabudhe succumbed to her injuries. Appa Joshi suffered an injury to his skull. According to Appa Joshi, the Marxist organisations were behind the attack.”
The organisations such as Kashtakari Sanghatana and Adivasi Ekta Parishad have been involved in spreading militancy, lawlessness and separatist thoughts among tribal youths —The Report
According to the report, in 1990, CPM workers attacked two villages -- Girgoan and Ghimane -- with a mob of thousand people, and damaged around 300 to 350 houses for not supporting the party. The mob also attacked livestock numbering about 3,500 consisting of poultry and goats. “In Vasa village, 50-60 houses were damaged. According to Warkhande, Marxist activists have an attitude to act like Naxalites in the matter of stalling and opposing the developmental projects. CPM workers create fear psychosis in the minds of all those who do not follow their dictate. They implicate innocent tribals in false cases. According to Shri Warkhande, the lynching incident was carried out by organisations inspired by Maoist ideology and approach.
The accused in the lynching incident were associated with CPI(M), the report says. “The accused Rajesh Rao, Vinod Rao and Ramdas Rao are active members of CPM and Vishnu Bhavar is a former member of the Gram Panchayat, whereas Jayaram Bhawar is presently a member of Gram Panchayat. The accused Jankya Borsya is an active member of NCP,” the report adds.