Maharashtra: 4 sadhus assaulted on child-lifting suspicion; 6 held
The four sadhus from Uttar Pradesh had asked a boy for directions on their way from Karnataka's Bijapur to the temple town of Pandharpur, which led locals to suspect that they were members of a kidnapping gang.
Four sadhus (religious ascetics) were allegedly assaulted by a mob in Maharashtra's Sangli district on Tuesday, on suspicion of being child lifters, according to police. The incident occurred in the district's Lavana village. Locals were seen inspecting one of the sadhus' Aadhaar cards before attempting to drag him out of the car by his leg. He was then assaulted with a belt.
Six people have been arrested in connection with this case. The four sadhus from Uttar Pradesh had asked a boy for directions on their way to the temple town of Pandharpur from Karnataka's Bijapur, which led locals to suspect that they were members of a kidnapping gang, according to PTI, citing police.
According to the report, the victims had stopped at a temple in Lavana village, and the incident occurred as they resumed their journey. The sadhus were members of an 'akhada' in Uttar Pradesh.
Assistant Police Inspector Pankaj Pawar said, "They lost their way, so they approached a boy at a powerhouse station near Lavanga village. After seeing their appearance, the boy, who knew no other language than Kannada, was terrified and began shouting thief-thief."
People from the village gathered and apprehended the sadhus. According to him, an argument quickly escalated, and the sadhus were allegedly beaten up with sticks by the locals.
The police arrived and took the sadhus to the hospital. They did not file a complaint as they needed to visit a temple, according to Dixit Gedam, Superintendent of Police in Sangli. "The police took suo moto notice of the incident and filed a charge of hurt and riot. Six of the accused have been arrested, and the other is being sought," Gedam concluded.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Ram Kadam, condemned the incident. He stated that the state government would not tolerate such 'misbehaviour' with sadhus. In a video message, Kadam added that the accused would face harsh punishment.