The families of the five men killed by a lynch mob in Maharastra's Dhule district have refused to accept the bodies of the deceased and held a protest seeking justice.
Reports suggest that the incident has created fear among the Dawari Gosavi community, which is a nomadic tribe, to which all the five men belonged.
The Indian Express reported that more than 500 people outside the circle office of Dhule asked for justice, even as the families said that they will not accept the bodies.
The report said that while local politicians spoke to the community elders, they said that the people of the Dawari Gosavi community have traditionally sought alms, but they are now scared to do so after the incident.
The Hindu reported that 23 people had been arrested in connection with the lynching.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for the kin of each person killed in the lynching while asking people to not pay heed to rumours circulated on social media.
The incident is unfortunate. We have already begun investigation in the matter. Few accused have also been arrested & the state govt has decided to give Rs 5 lakh as compensation to victims' families: Maharashtra CM on 5 people lynched in Dhule on suspicion of being child-lifters pic.twitter.com/ljpY6aZ0M7— ANI (@ANI) July 2, 2018
Maharashtra DGP Datta Padsalgikar also requested people to not believe in such rumours and asked people to reach out to the police in case another such incident comes to light.
I would like to appeal to all that if a similar incident comes to anyone's notice they must inform the police. Kindly do not believe in rumors circulating on social media and WhatsApp. We will take strict action. : Maharashtra DGP Datta Padsalgikar on Dhule lynching incident. pic.twitter.com/h0eNYgpUOV— ANI (@ANI) July 2, 2018
Residents of the tribal village of Rainpada in Sakri taluka attacked the victims as they got off from a state transport bus. The villagers, who were visiting the Sunday market, allegedly attacked them when one of the five men tried to speak to a girl from the village.
Another report in The Indian Express says that while the police tried to control the situation, the mob did not pay heed.
"They were over 3,500 and we were just eight. When we learnt that two were still alive, we pleaded that we be allowed to take them to a hospital. They did not agree and handed over the bodies only after being satisfied that none was alive," a police personnel told The Indian Express.