Key accused in Dhule lynching arrested from hideout in forest
The police said Dasrath Pimpalse was among the 10 who had led the violent attack on the five men from the Gosavi community.india Updated: Jul 08, 2018 22:10 IST
After a week-long hunt, the police in Dhule arrested a 25-year-old man who they suspect led the brutal lynching of five people in Dhule on July 1.
M Ramkumar, the superintendent of police, Dhule, told HT that a team of officers traced Dasrath Pimpalse to a hideout in the forests near the Warsa village, around 60km from Rainpada, where the incident had taken place. He was arrested late on Sunday afternoon. Pimpalse’s is the 26th arrest in the case. He has been booked for murder and will be produced in a court on Monday.
The police said Pimpalse was among the 10 who had led the violent attack on the five men from the Gosavi community — a de-notified tribe from the Solapur district — inside the Panchayat office at Pimpalpada. This was after a 3,000-strong mob thrashed the men at the village market and later dumped them inside the Panchayat office, suspecting them to be kidnappers .
Ramkumar said the police identified Pimpalse, along with the nine others, from the mobile videos of the attack that some of the villagers had shot. “Pimpalse was seen hitting the men in confinement with a rod,” said Ramkumar. He said the 10 men who led the attack had fled their villages fearing arrest. Some of them are suspected to be hiding in the jungles in neighbouring Gujarat, where the police have been asked to conduct searches. “We are going to round up the remaining nine soon,” Ramkumar said.
While the police have been able to identify the attackers, they are yet to trace the source of the rumour (about child-lifters) that is claimed to have incited the mob attack. Police said the rumour, which had been widely shared on popular messaging service WhatsApp, and by word of mouth, made the villagers suspect the five men from the Gosavi tribe — members of which have been travelling for years to various parts of Maharashtra during the monsoon to seek alms in villages or to work as fortune-tellers in market places.
Before the Dhule incident, 13 similar cases of mob attacks on strangers were reported in the state in over a month-and-a-half, killing four people and injuring 10.
First Published: Jul 08, 2018 21:12 IST