Kashinath Chaudhary, a ZP member from Dahanu, who claimed to be an eyewitness to the lynching in Palgar incident, on Monday alleged that the Kasa police did not fire any rounds in the air to disperse the 600-odd group of tribals, most of whom were drunk. Gaurav Singh, SP, Palghar has suspended API Anandrao Kale and PSI Sudhir Katare.
Chaudhary said: “The main occupation of the tribals is farming. Some of them even work in the units in adjoining Dadra, Nagar and Haveli union territory. Some tribals own land, where they grow rice, jowar and other crops.” “With most industrial units closed owing to the lockdown, the tribals are finding it difficult to make ends meet,” said Vinod Nikole, an MLA from Dahanu. “The police should have taken steps to stop rumour mongering.”
“The tribals are in fear owing to the lockdown. That explains the April 13 attack on two waiters of a hotel in Dhanivare in Dahanu, who were mistaken to be thieves or even the April 14 attack by 250 tribals on four Kasa policemen and the SUV of skin specialist Dr Vishwas Valvi of Thane at Saarni village in Kasa, when he was returning home after distributing foodgrains and conducting door-to-door thermal screening of tribals,” said Brian Lobo, member, Kashtkari Sanghatana, a tribal welfare outfit.
Fifteen people have been arrested in the April 14 case. “On April 17, too, a man was thrashed by 17 locals in Gholwad in Dahanu, mistaking him to be a thief…We have now got permission from Dahanu tehsildar Rahul Sarang to visit villages like Jamshet, Gangangaon and Dapcheri to hold meetings with tribals to tell them not to believe rumours. We have also got ID cards.”