By Muslim Mirror News,
PUNE: The defamatory pictures and derogatory references about the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackery, Chhatrapati Shivaji and other Hindu gods which were shared on Facebook on Saturday, and later re-circulated on WhatsApp, by a Hindu boy finally resulted into the death of a young Muslim IT engineer from Solapur who was living in Pune.
Aaccording to reports in the Indian Express and Hindustan Times. A Muslim IT professional, who was no in way connected to the circulation of the pictures, was attacked by the mob and killed, say the news reports. The Indian Express report says, “Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, a 24-year-old from Solapur district was beaten to death by a mob after he was returning home” from offering namaz. His friend Riyaz who was with him when the attack took place told the paper, “Moshin was targeted because he was wearing a skull cap and had a beard.” The police arrested seven people associated with the Hindu Rashtra Sena (right-wing fringe group) and the chief of this outfit Dhananjay Desai, adds the IE report. This isn’t the only incident of violence that the pictures have caused. According to Indian Express, the photos have triggered communal tension in the city as “activists of Hindu outfits and political organisations indulged in violence and arson and more than 200 public transport buses and private vehicles were damaged in the past two days.”
Notably it was Nikhil Tikone , a Hindu boy from Kasba Peth , Pune who uploaded defamatory pictures of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray under the name of ‘Nihal Khan’ which triggered violence against Muslim community in the city.
A police team reached the spot soon but the assailants fled from the spot, leaving behind their motorcycles and wooden sticks. Police seized three motorcycles that helped in identifying the assailants. The arrests were made on Tuesday. Mohsin was admitted to a private hospital where he was declared dead around 1 am.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil said all seven accused are associated with the Hindu Rashtra Sena.
However, before his arrest, Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Desai told The Indian Express that his outfit was not involved in the murder. “We understand that circulating derogatory pictures is a cyber crime but the problem cannot be solved by killing innocent persons. We did condemn the uploading of derogatory pictures, but we did not plan attacks on innocent persons. We have branches across the state and there is no incident of attack carried out by our activists till now,” Desai said.
The Crime Branch of Pune summoned Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai for questioning and arrested him in connection with an earlier case at Pune Cantonment police station, relating to distribution of objectionable pamphlets in March this year.
Desai, according to the police, is a history-sheeter who has been named in 23 cases of extortion, rioting and other criminal offences. Being a chief of Hindu Rashtra Sena whose members have already been arrested by police for murder of 24-year-old IT professional Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh in Hadapsar on Monday, police will certainly question him regarding the case during their thorough investigation.
Last year he was also questioned by crime branch police in connection with the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) was formed about a decade ago by Desai, who hails from Mumbai and currently stays at Paud in Pune district, the HRS is known for its aggressive agitations on Hindutva issues. On several occasions Desai has shared stage with controversial right-wing leaders like Pramod Muthalik of Shri Ram Sene and Himani Savarkar of Abhinav Bharat, members of which have been arrested by state ATS for their involvement in Malegaon 2008 blasts. He was chief guest at a function to release a book by Sanatan Sanstha activist Vikram Bhave, who has been convicted by session court in the Thane blast case.
HRS was in news for the attack on Star News office at Mumbai in April 2007 ( for telecasting a news item on a Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim youth) and for staging protests outside Dutt’s Mumbai residence in May 2013 claiming that he was being given VIP treatment in jail.
The HRS had also taken an aggressive stand in support of Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya and other Hindu radicals arrested in the Malegaon blast case by state ATS lead by late Hemant Karkare.
The derogatory photographs, uploaded on Facebook and circulated through WhatsApp on Saturday, triggered communal tension in the city as activists of Hindu outfits and political organisations indulged in violence and arson. More than 200 public transport buses and private vehicles were damaged in the past two days and incidents of arson, stone-pelting and rioting were reported from many parts of the city reports The Indian Express.
Later the dead body of Mohsin was taken to his native place in Solapur where last rituals were performed by his family and relatives