Five days after Palghar Superintendent of Police (SP) Gaurav Singh was suddenly sent on compulsory leave, locals have started an online campaign to being him back.
The IPS officer was sent on leave by an order from Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with the lynching case in Palghar in which three people were killed.
An online petition has been launched by Sujit Singh, who runs a gymnasium in Palghar, and Karan Chaudhary, a social activist. They have requested President Ramnath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other leaders to get Singh back as the SP in Palghar.
So far, the petition on change.org has received more than 350 signatures.
IPS officer Gaurav Singh was sent on immediate leave from 8 May. The petioners say that he has helped clean up the district of illegal activities like sand mining, tobacco and liquor mafias and brought strong process into implementation so that citizens bond strongly with police whenever they have any issues.
“We have personally brought to his notice several issues of our district and the ‘super cop’ expeditiously took action, thus winning the hearts of Palghar residents,” said Asif Dhanani, a lawyer who is among the signatories.
“The SP is an asset for us,” added Dr Hitesh Churi, a medico from Palghar. “The officer should be reinstated to the same post and I hope the national leaders will allow him to complete his two-year tenure.”
Earlier, the 29-year-old Nilesh, a driver by profession, was lynched along with two sadhus by a mob of over 200 people in Maharashtra’s Palghar last week. They were travelling from Nashik to Surat with some relief materials but couldn’t cross the Gujarat border. The brutal incident occurred while they were returning from the border through a route where the policemen allegedly asked them to take, knowing that the alleged Naxal and other communist cadre were waiting on the way for an ambush.
The mob assaulted them brutally with sticks, rods and stones until they breathed their last.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of state police arrested 12 more accused in connection with the case. One of those arrested in a minor.
With these arrests, the total number of accused has now reached 146. A local court sent five of those arrested to police custody till 16 May. Seven others have been sent to police custody is till 19 May.
Ten arrested minors were earlier sent to Childrens’ Remand Home in Bhiwandi.