Mumbai, July 3: Describing the Dhule lynching incident as "very painful and cruel", Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased.
He said the police acted swiftly after they were informed about the incident.
"It is a very painful incident. The way five people were killed merely on the basis of suspicion is unfortunate and cruel. The police have acted swiftly in this case and the people (involved in the incident) are being arrested. We are going to give compensation of Rs 5 lakh to (each of) the kin of the deceased on behalf of the state government," Fadnavis said.
Five people belonging to a nomadic community were allegedly lynched by a mob yesterday on suspicion that they were members of a gang of "child-lifters".
According to the police, rumours that a gang of child-lifters was active in the area were doing the rounds on social media.
The police have arrested 23 people in connection with the incident, which occurred at the tribal hamlet of Rainpada, about 25 kms from Pimpalner in Dhule district.
"I have also instructed the police to take action against the people who are spreading such rumours. It is wrong for the people to take law and order in their hands in any situation. And therefore, strict action will be taken in this case," the chief minister said.
Fadnavis, who also handles the home portfolio, said the police moved swiftly the moment Panchayat Samiti chairman called up informing them about the incident.
"..But the place (where the incident occurred) was 35-40 kms away (from the police station) and till the police could reach the spot the incident had already taken place. The government will try to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future," he said.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan alleged that the lynching incident was a result of the "inefficiency" of the BJP-led state government and police administration.