Suspecting them to be kidnappers, mob beats up 4 Sadhus in Mah; 7 held
   Date :15-Sep-2022

Suspecting them to be kidnappers
A DAY after four sadhus were thrashed by a mob on suspicion of being child-lifters in Maharashtra’s Sangli district, police on Wednesday registered a case and arrested seven persons. The victims of the incident had not registered any police complaint over the incident which took place near Lawanga village in Jat tehsil on Tuesday. A video showing a mob assaulting the four sadhus or religious ascetics, belonging to an ‘akhada’ (religious order) in Uttar Pradesh, had gone viral on social media. “The sadhus did not file any complaint. But we took cognisance on our own and registered a case against 20 persons. Seven of them were identified and arrested,” said assistant police inspector Pankaj Pawar of Umadi police station. The victims were traveling to the temple town of Pandharpur in a vehicle when the incident took place. “They had lost their way, so they asked a boy for directions near Lawanga village.
The boy, who did not know any language other than Kannada, got scared by their appearance and started shouting ‘thief-thief’,” the police official said. This led some locals to suspect that they were part of criminal gangs which abduct children. “People from the village gathered there. There was an argument. It escalated quickly and the sadhus were allegedly beaten up with sticks by some villagers,” API Pawar said. A police team reached the spot and found that the victims were indeed members of an ‘akhada’ in Uttar Pradesh. “The sadhus did not pursue the matter and left the place. We registered a case of assault and rioting on the basis of the video,” Pawar said. Dikshit Gedam, Sangli Superintendent of Police, said the police later got in touch with the sadhus who were in good health and continuing their journey.