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Palghar and the Story of Selective Silence

Palghar and the Story of Selective Silence


Author: Parul Dalal Final year student, Banasthali University, Rajasthan 

“A judiciary which succumbs to pressure will not be able to protect the Constitution or the Rule of law”.

-Justice Dipak Mishra


COVID-19[1] uplifted certain unpropitious footprints on the entire nation affecting the global economy, educational systems, religious ceremonies, civil rights and democracy. The lockdown set off numerous disgraceful incidents including the attack on doctors by a group of people in Indore[2] and a violent commotion in Maharashtra resulting in the death of three people. The barbarous attempt put an end to humanity. The root cause will not be the specific catastrophe, conflict or devastation that eradicates us; the problem will begin with the architecture of the human brain. The plash of blood on April 16 2020, in Gadchinchale, Palghar District, Maharashtra shocked the entire nation. Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70 years old), Sushilgiri Maharaj(35 years old) and Nilesh Telgade(30 years old) being identified as the two Juna Akhara Sadhus along with their driver was passing through the village to attend the funeral in Surat. Fake Whatsapp news is spreading way faster than the disease, which eventually leads to misconception and violence. The villagers were fuelled over a rumour of thieves operating in their area. Thus, the vigilant group of over 400-500 people killed the Sadhus and the driver. The nation demands justice. On May 4, 2020, the Maharashtra police arrested 115 villagers (9 juveniles) under the charge of murder[3]. The case is under investigation, but there are countless unanswered questions which are yet to be responded.


“If a mob can take in hands and administer summary justice, something is wrong.”[4]

The viral video outraged the whole nation. People started criticising the government of Maharashtra. The continuous reverberations on social media platforms forced the CM Uddhav Thackrey to break his silence. He was likely to refer to the incidence as a PR crisis[5] instead of a humanitarian crisis. The incidence upsurge the laws and the inadequacy on the part of government officials. The primary question in the present scenario is, if Article.144[6] has been imposed on the country, then how did the crowd of 400-500 people gathered at the scene of the crime? It indicates that the police force was unable to retaliate with the situation and did not take the necessary steps in order to prevent such incidents. According to the sources, the complaint filed after the murder was falsified. The facts of actual truth and what is written in the complaint were different. The basis of law is to be correct and valid. The subsequent efforts to first suppress the truth, then dilute and now clearly dismissed the case by covering the loopholes indicated a significant issue in the eyes of the law. The victims have a long way to justice. The video showed a crystalline denial to 70-year-old seeking help from the police officer. Saviour is the only eater. The Home Minister of Maharashtra comes up with a threatening declaration to face the legal consequences if the citizens tend to speak for the victims.

In India, lynchings[7] are the mere result of internal tension between two communities. The past events reflected that every brawl leads to the Hindu-Muslim rivalry. The story of Palghar manifested both humanity and communal colour. In the present case, the political leaders suspected that the attackers were Muslims. Such statements added more hatred towards other religious groups. The major reasons of mob lynching could be:

? The ethnic-cultural tension based on religion and caste without having the appropriate knowledge.

? The social and economic inequality as India comprises of a diverse group of people living in various societies.

? Lack of proper rules and regulations for such monstrous crimes.

? The criminals involved in such mob lynching have no clear identification; there is no face of the crowd that could be taken into consideration. Thus, it tends to increase the morale of wrong-doers.

? Social media and the rumours spreading over the country without any stop and irresponsible actions.

There is a need to stop the mob lynching as it is against Article 21[8] of the Constitution of India, peace and social harmony, the democratic principles and the essence of the Idea of India because the people believe in unity in diversity. Otherwise, it may turn the Indian Democracy into a complete Anarchical democracy. It must be noted the democratic policies should be strictly followed. The possible solution includes: Increase in the communication mode between the government officials and the citizens, awareness campaigns and judicial reforms. The central and the state government also provide preventive guidelines with respect to lynching. The People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Maharashtra also stated that a speedy investigation to know the emergence and spread of the rumours should be carried out, to look over the investigation by the administration. The Supreme Court of India suggests the parliament to pass a regulation in accordance with the “horrendous acts of mobocracy”[9]. It was the obligation of the state to protect citizens and ensure that the “pluralistic social fabric” of the country holds against mob violence[10]. The government should see the judgement as a “clarion call” in a time of exigency and work towards strengthening the social order[11].


In India, it is presumed that all the attackers are Muslims. There are such perceptions that every violence is the out-turn of Hindu-Muslim dissension. The villagers who got arrested belong to the same religion. No Muslims were involved in the murder. Thus, the agenda to give the mischievous acts a communal colour stands nowhere to resolve the cases. Lynching is contemplated as inadequate for democratic India either in a healthy way or in a violent way. The National Human Right Commission provides rights to the citizens of the country to stand on their part with the exception to act in order to maintain public peace and harmony. The Palghar story of selective silence depicts several related incidents prevailing in the country. The incident was not a series of communal mob lynchings but merely a matter of misunderstanding. “There is, I believe, in every disposition; a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which is not even the best education can overcome, and your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.”[12]

Disclaimer: Kindly note that the views and opinions expressed are of the author, and not Law Colloquy.


[1] COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. [2] National Security Act detained four men involved in the attack of healthcare workers in Indore. [3] Section.300 of the Indian Penal Code. The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another with an intention to cause death. [4] M.Veerapa Moily (Former Law Minister), The wheel of Justice. [5] It is a sort of bad publicity that affects your business ability to operate at peak capacity. [6] All authorities Civil and Judicial, in the territory of India shall act in aid of the Supreme Court. [7] Lynching is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, punish a convicted transgressor, or intimidate a group. [8] Article 21 is the protection of life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. [9] [10] Dipak Mishra (Chief Justice of India) [11] [12] Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.