Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says Palghar killings of Juna Akhada monks NOT communal: ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis cries foul

Ebangla Bureau 

Juna Akhada, Religion, Yoga Training - Kumbh Online

LYNCHINGS  of two Sadhus belonging to the  Juna Akhada,the largest Order of Hindu saints, with their driver on the night of April 16, by a 200-strong mob of villagers near Kasa town in Maharashtra’s Palghar district on suspicion that they were thieves, have enraged the people. It is alleged that villagers first hurled stones at the van, prompting the driver to stop the vehicle. Later, they pulled three persons out of the vehicle and beat them to death in Gadhchinchale village on Dabhadi-Khanwel road, with sticks and rods.The deceased — identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) and driver Nilesh Telgade (30) — were travelling to Surat. Of them one was the diver, while two are residents of Kandivli in north Mumbai. The place where the incident took place is approximately 120 km from Mumbai. Acting sternly against the culprits behind the ghastly lynchings ,Maharashtra Police on Monday arrested 101 persons, including nine minors, in connection with the incident and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered the suspension of two policemen, transferred the case to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and deplored the efforts to communalise the crime. On a day when State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced the arrest of 101 persons in connection with the lynchings, the Chief Minister spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and briefed them about the incident. Meanwhile, All India president of June Akhara Mahant Prem Giri threatened to stage gherao of Uddhav Thackeray after the lockdown is over and demanded action against the culprits. Addressing the people across the nation through social media, Uddhav said  “Currently, we are waging a war against coronavirus. Some people are using the incident to vitiate the atmosphere. Though two sadhus were among the three lynched in the incident, please do not give a communal colour to the incident. I have spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah this morning in this regard”. Uddhav said: “This incident took place on the night of April 16 in the jurisdiction of the Kasa police station, which is on the border of the Centrally administered-territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli. The incident happened when two sadhus and their driver were returning to Mumbai, after being stopped at the border. They were attacked at a hinterland area. The incident was triggered by some rumours”, he added. As Wikipedia says Juna is a Shaivite Akhada following under the Dashnaami Sampraday (sect) founded by Adi Shankaracharya (780 E to 820 CE). This Akhada is attached to the four mutts established by Shankaracharya at Dwarka, Puri, Shringeri and Jyotirmath. Juna Akhara is a traditional society in which the sadhu families of the 52 lineages are represented by their acknowledged elders in a grand council of the akhara. RSS-affiliated Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Monday demanded a time-bound and impartial enquiry into the lynching of two sadhus in Palghar in the presence of some police personnel last week amid rumours that they were child kidnappers. The sadhus from Juna Akhara were on their way from Nashik to a village near Silvasa in Gujarat, where their guru, Ram Giri had passed away due to a heart attack, Prem Giri of Juna Akhara, an ancient sect of Hindu seers headquartered. They had obtained the requisite passes…in our tradition of performing rituals of the Antoshti (last rites) of a Sadhu, he has to be buried in soil with his disciples present around him…that is why they decided to go,” Giri told ET. “Now we are being told there will be enquiry, but we have to see how impartial it is.”VHP secretary general Milind Parande blamed the “activities of leftists” in Palghar for the incident, while Sharad Shelke, secretary of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram that works among scheduled tribes in remote areas, said the area needed “a de-radicalisation efforts of sorts”. “The hold of the communists here, as many of them are workers in local units, is very high,” he said. Narendra Giri, president of All India Akhara Parishad, the apex body of seers, said the police and administration need to take responsibility as “they let a crowd of 200 people gather, and did not protect the sadhus who were already under police custody”.

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