The Criminal Investigation Department of the Maharashtra Police on Thursday arrested eight more people in connection with the lynching of three men by a mob in Palghar district in April this year, PTI reported. The total number of arrests in the case now stands at 186, along with 11 juveniles who have been detained.

The accused were present at the spot of the incident, flouting Covid-19 protocols, and did not stop the assault on the three men, the police official said. Some of them also carried sticks and recorded videos during the incident, he added.

Court to hear bail pleas on November 3

Meanwhile, a special court in Maharashtra’s Thane district on Thursday said it would hear bail applications filed by 101 people accused in the case on November 3. The hearing was adjourned due to the absence of investigating officers in the case, PTI reported.

Amrut Adhikari, the counsel appearing for the applicants, argued that the FIR does not mention their names as assailants and hence their involvement in the crime appears to be suspicious.

The case

In April this year, three men in Maharashtra’s Palghar district were beaten to death by a group of villagers on suspicion that they were thieves. The three were lynched while they were travelling in a car to Gujarat’s Surat to attend a funeral amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. 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.

The victims were identified by the police as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) and Nilesh Telgade (30). Two of the victims were sadhus from Mumbai’s Kandivali suburb, and the third was their driver.

Three FIRs related to murder, armed rioting and other charges were registered in connection with the incident. The Palghar police initially investigated the case and was later handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department.