When Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh declared, having released a list of 101 people who had been arrested in connection with the mob lynching of two Hindu saints and their driver in Palghar, that there was “not one Muslim” on the list, people already knew what explains the demography: Not every religion makes people change names to those with tell-tale signs when they convert. But even that argument is not necessary, given the nature of communists in India, very few of whom are technically non-Hindu. “Your name need not be Peter D’Mello and Niki Cordoso (Jesuit priests and founders of the Kashtakari Sangathana, suspected to be behind the lethal attack on the sadhus). Is Ashis Nandy a Hindu? Is Arundhati Roy a Hindu?” asked an ISKCON devotee active in the area to counterbalance the anti-India forces.
In the case of Palghar, there are two sets of communists involved: The Maoist terrorists aka Naxals and soft-peddling communists aka the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M) or CPM], which has its sole MLA in Maharashtra in the constituency where the crime took place: Dahanu represented by Vinod Bhiva Nikole.
District Palghar on the Maharashtra-Gujarat border has been a hub of Naxalite activities for a while. The ideology of “left-wing extremism” or LWE, a term used officially by the nation-state to refer to red terrorism, has spread in the villages and hills in the forest area of the district in recent times.
To get answers to the questions over the killing of two sadhus of Juna Akhara in the presence of police in Gadchinchale village, 110 km from Palghar district headquarters, one must begin by recognising the fact that the village of Gadchhinchale and surrounding areas are considered a stronghold of the CPI(M). MLA Nikole gains further strength from the fact that he was the joint candidate of the INC, NCP and CPM. The CPM rules the nagar panchayat and most of the gram panchayats of the region too.
Noting that activities of the leftists have been going on in the Palghar area for quite some time, VHP said the lynching is part of communist action and sought to remind people of the 2008 killing of Swami Lakshmanand in Odisha in which though the state pinned the blame on Maoists, many alleged Christian groups to be behind the attack.
On the day of the lynching, VHP general secretary Milind Parande termed the killings as a shameful act. He alleged the ambush was part of a deeper conspiracy. He said, “The killers and their accomplices should be punished at the earliest after a high-level investigation into their involvement in this brutal incident.”
According to a VHP press release, Parande said, “Although Maharashtra is known for holding saints in high esteem and ensuring their safety and security, the activities of leftists have been going on in Palghar these days on a high pitch.”
“They also have a long history of killing Hindu leaders. Mob lynchings are part of the Left’s own action plan. The country has not forgotten the heinous murder of Swami Lakshmananandji in Kandhamal, Odisha,” the VHP press release said.
A few days ago, a doctor and police, who went to distribute essential groceries to the poor in the Gadchinchale village situated on the Dadra-Nagar Haveli border, were attacked by Naxals. The Additional Superintendent of Police, who went to the area to arrest the attackers were attacked by villagers too, but he survived.
After many such incidents in the Palghar district, the locals, under the spell of the CPI(M) and CPI(ML), couldn’t care less about the law or be in awe of the men in khaki. A journalist said, “People here are carrying out incidents following the typical modus operandi of Naxals, where after ambushing their targets, the assailants hide in the hills and forests. This region is becoming a stronghold of Naxalism.”
Local MP Rajendra Gavit said in this regard, “The heinous murder of the sadhus could have been avoided if the police had acted with prudence. But 15 policemen appeared helpless in front of the miscreants.”