Dhule (Maharashtra), July 2: Twenty-three people were arrested on Monday in the case of the lynching of five people in Maharashtra’s Dhule district over suspicion that they were part of a gang of child-lifters. The incident had taken place at Rainpada, 25 kilometers from Pimpalner in Dhule at around 11.30 AM on Sunday.

“Twenty-three people have been arrested. We have also identified some more accused in this case. Five teams have been formed to identify the accused,” said Dhule SP M Ramkumar told ANI. The officer said that they have collected videos and photographs of the incident from people to identify more accused, reported DNA. (Also read: Tripura Police Launches Awareness Drive)

Ramkumar also expressed the confidence that they will crack the case as soon as possible. In Sunday’s incident, the five victims, along with a few others, were seen getting off from a state transport bus. As soon as one of them tried to speak to a girl child, the villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday market, reportedly pounced on them and five people died after being assaulted.

DNA said Dada Bhuse, Shiv Sena legislator and guardian minister of Dhule, visited the spot and met the families of the deceased. Bhuse said the crime will be investigated and the guilty will be punished. He also requested the villagers not to believe rumours. Sharad Patil, a former Sena MLA from Dhule, termed the lynching a blot on Maharashtra. State Congress president Ashok Chavan said, “Earlier in Aurangabad, two people were killed over suspected child-lifting. The government has failed to control the rumours. We are slowly turning into a barbaric state.”