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HRS chief used another person's phone to communicate with rioters

ACP Gopinath Patil told the court that he also sent WhatsApp messages from a different phone, so that the police could not trace them to him

Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) president Dhananjay Desai, who has been accused of inciting communal hatred and provoking activists to riot in Hadapsar on the day of Pune techie Mohsin Shaikh’s murder, was communicating with other suspects through WhatsApp and phone calls on the day of the murder, investigations have revealed. However, he did not use his own phone, in order to mislead the police.

The Pune police yesterday failed to secure an extension of Desai’s police custody, which they had sought in order to investigate how the HRS outfit gets economic assistance.

They wanted to pay a visit to the organisation’s office at Vile Parle in Mumbai, for the same. Judicial Magistrate P D Zambre, however, remanded Desai to magisterial custody till June 26, on Thursday.

Desai was arrested on Tuesday night in connection with the murder of IT-graduate Mohsin Shaikh in Hadapsar on June 2. He was remanded to police custody for one day on Wednesday.

Desai is accused of having instigated his activists to go on a rampage and target particular communities, after some objectionable posts were uploaded on Facebook recently. Rioters torched bakeries in Hadapsar, and ultimately killed Mohsin Shaikh.

While requesting the extension of Desai’s custody, Assistant Commissioner of Police Gopinath Patil told the court that Desai did not cooperate with the police during the interrogation.

“He had been using another person’s phone to communicate with his activists. We are also investigating to confirm that he sent some messages via Whatsapp,” he said.

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