A sarpanch in Thane’s Bhiwandi taluka was allegedly beaten to death with iron rods by a group of about nine people, the police said on Sunday. Four people, including prime accused Vaibhav Jagannath Patil, have been arrested so far, the police added.
Police said the issue began on Friday, while the Khambala Group Grampanchayat was in progress. The prime accused, Vaibhav, allegedly barged into the proceedings and demanded that the sarpanch, Mangesh Shantaram Patil, explain to him why the issue of forest land encroachment was not being looked into. The sarpanch to lodge a complaint against him at the Padgha police station for misbehaving during a panchayat meeting, police added.
The next day, Vaibhav allegedly rounded up a group of eight villagers and confronted the sarpanch. He and the villagers allegedly attacked Patil with iron rods, leading to Patil’s death, a police officer said.