Maharashtra State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh stated today that no one among the arrested 101 people are Muslims who were arrested for the mob attack on three men in Maharashtra’s Palghar district. Mr. Deshmukh slammed the BJP-led oppositions in the state for adding a communal twist to the horrific incident.

The case is being investigated by Maharashtra CID as the Maharashtra government has ordered a high-level probe into the case. While speaking via Facebook advising people to maintain social distancing, the minister said, “101 people have been arrested so far and let me tell you not a single one arrested is Muslim. So don’t give this incident a communal colour,”

“Some people are seeing ‘mungerilal ke haseen sapne‘ (a pipedream). This is not the time to play politics but to fight (the) coronavirus (outbreak) collectively,” he added.

The brutal killing took place just 125 kilometers away from Mumbai. On Monday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the incident may be the result of mistaken identity. A shocking video went viral of the mob killing showing locals of Gadchinchale village armed with sticks and stones attacking a 70-year-old man. 

The incident happened when two sadhus and one driver were travelling from Kandivali in Mumbai to Gujarat to attend a funeral via road. The deceased have been identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) and Nilesh Telgade (30). Their vehicle was stopped and they were dragged out of their car and beaten. When Palgarh police came to rescue them, they were also attacked by the villagers.

The three of them were killed by the mob. Mr Thackeray warned against communalising the incident.  “Those trying to inflame passions, must desist from doing so. There is no Hindu-Muslim angle or communalism in this attack. Two policemen were suspended immediately,” the CM wrote in a tweet.

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