The Supreme Court court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to submit within four weeks a status report on the investigation into the lynching of three men in Palghar district earlier this month, Live Law reported.

On the night of April 16, three Mumbai residents, who were on their way to Silvassa, were beaten to death by local residents in Gadakchinchale village of Palghar district on the suspicion that they were thieves. Two of the victims were reportedly local religious leaders from Kandivali suburb in Mumbai, and the third was their driver.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna sought the report while hearing a petition accusing the police of failing to check the gathering of locals despite strict lockdown orders. The petitioners asked for the setting-up of a top court-monitored special investigation team or a judicial commission headed by a retired top court judge to probe the incident.

They also sought a CBI investigation into the matter and asked for first information reports against concerned police officials for failing to prevent the incident. They alleged that the police were complicit.

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“During this whole incident, the police did not take any concrete steps to protect these innocent men which could be proved by the fact that they did not use any force to disperse the crowd and one of the video even shows that one of the police official actually pushed saints to the crowd when they were asking for the protection,” the petitioners said.

Last week, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Maharashtra Police took over the investigation into the case.

The incident had triggered a political blame game in the state. The Congress had alleged that two of the accused in the Palghar mob lynching case were members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP, on the other hand, denied any link to the incident.

Over 100 people have been arrested in the case and two police officers have been suspended. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had denied any communal links to the incident.