Four sadhus hailing from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, were thrashed and beaten with sticks under the suspicion of being child lifters in Maharashtra’s Sangli. In Jat taluka of Sangli, people suspected the sadhus of kidnapping a child and beat them using sticks and thrashed them mercilessly.
The video of the trashing has gone viral on social media. The pattern of beating, thrashing, and lynching sadhus is not new in Maharashtra. A similar incident happened in Palghar in 2020, in which a mob of people killed two sadhus and their driver.
What happened in Sangli?
- On 13th September, four sadhus were lynched by villagers in Jat taluka of Maharashtra’s Sangli.
- Originally from Uttar Pradesh, the four sadhus were returning from Bijapur, Karnataka.
- Heading towards Pandharpur, the sadhus asked a kid for directions.
- That’s when the villagers lynched them under the suspicion of child-kidnapping.
- Taking a suo-moto cognizance in the case, Maharashtra police has arrested six people so far.
A grim and painful reminder of the Palghar incident:
- During the pandemic, two sadhus were lynched to death in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.
- The sadhus were going for the last rites when they crossed Palghar adjoining the Gujarat border.
- Suspecting child trafficking, the sadhus were beaten by the locals.
- Most surprising was that this happened with the police present there, who allegedly handed the sadhus over to the mob.
Behind the scenes:
- Abusing sadhus is seen to be a continued row in the country, especially in Maharashtra.
- During the Palghar incident, the rise of missionaries was considered to be a cause of unrest.
- Recently, four missionaries were arrested in the same area where the sadhus were lynched to death.
- The ever-flawed portrayal of sadhus in Bollywood could be one of the reasons for people suspecting sadhus of being child lifters and criminals.
- The portrayed concept that a sadhu is a person who would kidnap children or women, or is a cunning villain, is widely popular in the film industry.
Governments have changed, but the fate of sadhus remains the same in the state. Six have been arrested in Sangli for the lynching.