Months after a blood-thirsty mob in Maharashtra’s Palghar district lynched two sadhus and their driver, seven or eight unidentified persons brutally attacked a sadhu at his ashram (hermitage) in the state’s Aurangabad district in the night of 11 November.
Late on 11 November, the unidentified assailants entered the sadhu’s ashram after breaking down the back door to the building. They found a woman in one of the rooms of the ashram and threatened her to disclose the location of ‘Maharaj’ (a normal reference to the chief hermit). The woman panicked and told them that Maharaj was upstairs.
The assailants went upstairs, attacked the sadhu and fled. The attack left the hermit’s left leg critically injured. Police rushed to the spot after being alerted. The victim, with his clothes soaked in blood, was admitted to a private hospital in the city for treatment.
On being informed, the police rushed to the ashram and admitted him to a private hospital in Aurangabad. The Aurangabad police have initiated a probe in the case. They suspect the assault to be a case of ‘personal enmity.’ Moreover, a case has been registered against unidentified individuals. BJP leader Ram Kadam had shared a video on Twitter wherein the Hindu Sadhu could be seen lying unconscious on a hospital bed, with blood spots all over his vest.
Series of attacks on sadhus in Maharashtra
A series of attacks on sadhus have been reported from Maharashtra this year. After the horrific lynching of the Hindu monks, who were travelling from Mumbai to Gujarat, in Palghar on 17 April, a sadhu was found murdered at his ashram in Umri city of Nanded district on 23 May. Both incidents in a massive outcry and kicked off a nationwide political furore.
Ruling out the communal angle in the Nanded incident, police said robbery was the motive behind the seer’s murder. The criminals looted Rs 69,000, his laptop and other valuables from the victim’s bedroom totalling around Rs 1.50 lakh, besides his car keys. As the victim, identified as Shivacharya Nirvanarudra Pashupatinath tried to grapple with them, they murdered him.