Victims of Dhule lynching belonged to a peaceful tribe: PoliceLast updated on Jul 08, 2018, 02:36 pm
The five people lynched in Maharashtra's Dhule on suspicion of child-lifting were members of the nomadic Nath Gosavi community, which is a peaceful tribe with no criminal record, said Dhule's SP Ram Kumar.
They generally travel from place-to-place in search of work and food and make ends meet by begging and performing acrobatics.
"These people talk sweetly and respectfully to everyone," Kumar added.
Nomads have no prior criminal record, says police
Kumar is puzzled why Nath Gosavi members were attacked and killed by a mob in Dhule's Rainpada on July 1.
"These people have never indulged in violence earlier and have no criminal record," he said.
The lynching in Rainpada, about 100km from Dhule district headquarters, is believed to have been triggered by rumors that the nomads were child-lifters who sold kidneys of their captives.
Videos show victims being thrashed with sticks, chappals
In the videos which went viral, the victims were seen being thrashed with sticks and chappals and stoned after one of them apparently tried to speak to a six-year-old girl.
The nomads upon arrival in any village, first inform the local police and that is what the Dhule lynching victims were about to do when they were attacked, according to the police and locals.
Nomadic tribes have no documents required for voting: Social activist
Police have arrested 24 people so far in connection with the incident and identified 22 more accused.
Laxman Mane, a Marathi writer and social activist who has authored several books on nomadic and denotified tribes, said these people have no documents required for voting, nor any facilities from the Center and state governments.
These communities will become extinct if Dhule-like incidents increase, Mane said.
About the nomadic tribes in Maharashtra
The nomadic tribes are mainly found in western Maharashtra, including Satara, Sangli, Solapur, and Kolhapur districts, said Mane, who was a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1990 to 1996.
"There are 28 nomadic and 13 denotified tribes. Their total population in Maharashtra doesn't exceed 3.5% and barely 0.6% of these people gain any formal education," Mane said.
Government should allot land to nomadic tribes: Mane
To provide stability to the lives of tribals, the government should allot them land in Baramati, Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Satara, and Solapur to reside and for farming, Mane suggested.
"Giving land to these landless laborers is the only way to save them from getting extinct," said Mane, who himself belongs to "Kaikadi", a denotified tribe.
He said that these tribes don't even eat leftover food.