The Maharashtra Criminal Investigation Department on Wednesday filed two chargesheets against 126 accused in the Palghar lynching case, PTI reported.

On April 16, three Mumbai residents, who were on their way to Silvassa, were lynched by local residents in Gadakchinchale village of Palghar district on the suspicion that they were thieves. A large mob of villagers had surrounded the car of the three men and started attacking them with sticks and iron rods, leading to their deaths. Two of the victims were sadhus from Mumbai’s Kandivali suburb, and the third was their driver. Over 35 police constables and personnel of other ranks were transferred after the incident caused an uproar.

According to the CID, so far 154 people have been arrested and 11 juveniles have been detained in the case. None of them have been released on bail yet. It added that the team investigating the incident questioned 808 suspects and 118 witnesses to collect strong evidence against the accused.

The two chargesheets, one running into 4,955 pages and another of 5,921 pages, were filed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Vijay Pawar in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class at Dahanu taluka in Palghar district, the probe agency said. Charges will be framed against the accused once the court scrutinises the documents, an official said.

Besides sections of the Indian Penal Code, the accused were charged under relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act as the incident took place during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. They were also charged with murder, armed rioting and using criminal force to prevent a public servant from doing their duty, among other offences.

“Since there is adequate evidence against two juveniles in conflict with law, separate proceedings against them are being initiated before the Juvenile Justice Board,” the CID said.

Reports said the chargesheets ruled out any religious angle behind the attack on the three men.

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