SC issues notice to Centre, Maharashtra govt on pleas seeking CBI, NIA probe

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre and the Maharashtra government on pleas seeking CBI and NIA probes into the Palghar lynching case which saw the killing of two sadhus over a month ago, reports say. The demand for a CBI probe had been made jointly by Mahant Swami Shraddhanand Saraswati and six other sadhus of the Juna Akhara, followed by a second petition which has been moved for a NIA probe by Ghanshyam Upadhyay.

During the hearing, the petitioner submitted that the witnesses of the incident were committing suicide, and there were reasons to believe that the investigation was not following the right course. The petition also claims that there is an apprehension of tampering of evidence. The Maharashtra government had opposed the plea, stating that the Bombay HC is already hearing the case. The petition by the relatives of the two sadhus contends that they do not trust the Maharashtra government probe and the state police, questioning the role of the police in the case.

The second petition seeks to transfer the investigation to NIA on the ground that offence has been committed under Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. There is strong material which indicates active connivance and role of the local politicians and religious leaders before and after the sadhus and their companion were brutally beaten to death, and therefore unless and until the massacre is investigated by an independent investigating agency like the NIA, the real cause for the brutal massacre will remain wrapped under the carpet, the plea said.

 It also stated that mass conversion or for that matter, any religious conversion of Hindus to Christianity or any other religion, is certainly not conducive for the orderly development of the country. The petition also read: “With the change in religion, the demography of the country also changes and experiences have shown that such change certainly impacts the voting pattern in the country and which is so very crucial for any democratic country like India.”

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