Lawyer Digvijay Trivedi, who was fighting to bring justice to the Hindu sadhus (saints) lynched by a mob in Palghar of Maharashtra, died mysteriously in a road accident today near Manor on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway on his way to Dahanu. The accident does not come across as an average mishap on the road, as highways are nearly empty during the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had empanelled Trivedi as a lawyer to fight for justice for the lynched sadhus.
Trivedi was yesterday he was scheduled to present his side of the case before the court.
A woman co-passenger in the car and another lawyer accompanying Trivedi have been seriously injured in the ‘accident’. The surviving lawyer is undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Casa.
Preliminary reports say that the VHP lawyer, who was driving the car, lost control and met with the accident, which occurred near the Mendwan Bridge in Manor on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. The vehicle turned turtle, with the impact killing Trivedi on the spot.
VHP lawyer Trivedi used to be a part of the legal cell of Bahujan Vikas Aghadi too.
Twitter users have been raising a storm in the medium, questioning Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the police force in Palghar and Maharashtra director general of police about the lynching since the shocking news arrived. They are asking whether there was some foul play involved in what looks prima facie an accident.
Some social media users are clearly calling the incident a murder. Others are referring to the ‘mishandling’ of the case, demanding that the case be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or CBI.
The Maharashtra CID arrested a total of 141 suspects, including 10 juveniles, in the Palghar lynching case. They have referred the minors to a juvenile home.
Among the adults, 101 people are in judicial custody. and the rest are in police custody.
District Palghar on the Maharashtra-Gujarat border has been a hub of Naxalite activities for a while. The ideology of “left-wing extremism” or LWE, a term used officially by the nation-state to refer to red terrorism, has spread in the villages and hills in the forest area of the district in recent times.
The area also witnesses large-scale conversion of Dalits to Christianity, who retain Hindu names even after conversion.