Bhopal: BJP vice president Uma Bharti on Tuesday urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to register a case of murder against the policemen who failed to save three men, including two seers, from being lynched by a mob in Palghar district.
In a letter to Thackeray, the former Union minister termed the lynching of seers as a great sin and said she was observing a one-day fast on Tuesday to repent the incident.
She said all those found guilty of the crime should be punished.
"I request that you (Thackeray) punish the murderers, including all the police personnel, otherwise you will also be a partner to this sin," Bharti said in the letter.
She said the "helpless sadhus were holding hands of policemen and pleading for protection".
"But instead of saving the seers, the policemen handed them over to the crowd and saved themselves. The policemen are also accused of killing. A case should be registered against them under IPC section 302 (murder). If they wanted, they could have saved the seers by firing in the air, she said.
Bharti said she will visit the incident site after the lockdown is lifted.
"I am observing fast at my residence in Bhopal today for atonement, and I have appealed to the sadhu samaj to observe a day-long fast while staying at their places," the BJP leader said in the letter.
She said the killing of the great sadhus by a mob in Palghar is a heinous crime in terms of law, but a great sin in the eyes of religion.
The incident took place on the night of April 16 when three men - two seers and their driver - were going from Mumbai in a car towards Surat in Gujarat to attend a funeral.
Their vehicle was stopped near a village in Palghar district where the three were dragged out of the car and beaten to death with sticks by a mob on suspicion that they were child-lifters.
The deceased were identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35), and driver Nilesh Telgade (30).
The Maharashtra government earlier ordered a high- level probe into the incident, and two policemen from Palghar were suspended on Monday for alleged dereliction of duty.
Palghar Police have arrested over 110 people in connection with the incident.