The Maharashtra Police has informed the Supreme Court that it has punished 18 of its personnel for dereliction of duties after a departmental inquiry was initiated into the Palghar lynching case, PTI reported on Monday. On August 6, the top court directed the state to file an affidavit about the action taken against the police officers allegedly involved in the incident.

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. The police has arrested over 100 people in connection with the case.

As per the affidavit, one assistant police inspector has been dismissed from service, two others sent on compulsory retirement and salaries of 15 others have been reduced to a minimum, Live Law reported. “The police personnel have replied to the showcause notices,” the affidavit said. “After considering their replies to the show cause notice and after hearing them, the special inspector general of police, Konakan range has issued final orders on August 21 imposing punishment upon the delinquent police personnel...”

Petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court by sadhus of “Shri Panch Dashnam Juna Akhara’’ and relatives of the deceased priests. They have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the case. Another application was filed by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay, calling for a National Investigation Agency-monitored probe into the matter. “Several video clippings have emerged on social media and news reports which very clearly demonstrate the active involvement of the police present, who can be seen handing over the three persons to the unlawful assembly of persons gathered,” the plea claimed.

In the court, the Maharashtra Police submitted that there was no need for a CBI inquiry or any other court-monitored investigation in the matter as they had already taken action.

This is the third affidavit filed by the state police after it informed the court of progress in the case on May 27 and July 29.