22/04/2020 2:01 PM IST

No Muslim Among 101 Arrested In Palghar Lynching Case: Maharashtra Home Minister

The home minister also informed that the mandatory quarantine period of Wadhwan family ends today and the CBI or ED can take them into custody.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a file photo

NAGPUR — Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Wednesday that no one out of the 101 people arrested in the Palghar lynching case is a Muslim.

The home minister’s statement came in the wake of increasing criticism of the Uddhav Thackeray government over the killing of three people in Palghar district of the state last week, especially from the right-wing who were trying to communalise the incident.

Addressing the reporters via Facebook Live, Deshmukh said, “ Three people were killed in Palghar which is a blot on humanity. This entire area is a tribal belt and extremely hard terrain. There were rumours going on in this area over the last few days that some thieves were roaming around in misleading attire and abducting children. This is what led to that incident (of lynching). A special Inspector General of Police is investigating this case which has been handed over to the CID. Within 8 hours of the incident, 101 people were arrested in this case. I am making public that list of all those 101 people. Not one of them is a Muslim,” Deshmukh said.

“It was really unfortunate that there was an attempt to give it a communal or caste angle. It was all the more unfortunate because we are fighting a pandemic now. This is really not the time for politics,” he added.

On Twitter, he asked people not to fall for rumours and “verify facts from trusted sources”.

In an update on the Wadhawan case, Deshmukh said the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate could take them into custody.

The Thackeray government had faced criticism when a senior home ministry official in the state gave special permission to the Wadhawan family to travel to  Mahabaleshwar during the lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan are named as accused in the CBI’s FIR pertaining to the alleged swindling of money by Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others.

Both the brothers were absconding since the case was registered against them on March 7, prompting the CBI to get non-bailable warrants against them from a special court.

“Granting permission to Wadhwan family was a big mistake by one of our senior officials. The family’s quarantine ends today so we have written to the agencies including CBI and ED that they can take them in their custody,” Deshmukh added.

The minister said the Wadhawan family would “remain in our custody till the CBI does not take their custody.”