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Pune techie murder: Cops to seek ban on extremist outfit

With 17 of the Sena’s members being arrested in connection with the murder of Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh and its chief being a known history-sheeter, the Pune Police are going to begin collecting evidence to send to the Centre and press for a ban

Following the arrest of 17 Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) members in connection with Monday’s murder of IT graduate Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh (28), the Pune Police are mulling over the possibility of banning the radical right-wing outfit.

Also read: Protest over Facebook post: Techie thrashed to death in Pune; 7 held

 Police Commissioner Satish Mathur (second from left) addresses a press conference with DCP Manoj Patil (extreme left), Joint CP Sanjay Kumar (second from right) and Additional CP Abdur Rehman (extreme right) at a press conference yesterday
Top guns come out: Police Commissioner Satish Mathur (second from left) addresses a press conference with DCP Manoj Patil (extreme left), Joint CP Sanjay Kumar (second from right) and Additional CP Abdur Rehman (extreme right) at a press conference yesterday. Pic/Mohan patil

In the light of the upcoming assembly polls, they are also probing why Pune became the epicentre of the violence following the objectionable posts being uploaded on Facebook.

Commissioner Satish Mathur said the process of collecting evidence to send to Centre in order to ask for a ban on the outfit will begin soon. “The central government has the power to ban any outfit. We will have to compile substantial evidence and documents before sending a proposal to the central government.

violence
In the firing line: Stone-pelting incidents had been reported in the jurisdictions of 24 out of 33 police stations in the violence, which began last week. Pic/Mohan Patil

The process will be initiated,” he said. “After the objectionable posts were made on Facebook, we had taken precautions to avoid untoward incidents. Violence was reported in other parts of the state also, but somehow Pune became the centre. We are trying to find out the reasons behind this,” added Mathur.

Joint Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said that Shaikh was murdered despite police bandobast being deployed. “Immense police protection has been provided in sensitive areas,” he said.

Arrests
Police have arrested 17 people belonging to the HRS for their alleged involvement in Shaikh’s murder. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil confirmed this. “All 17 people arrested in the murder case belong to the HRS,” he said.

HRS chief Dhananjay Desai has not been arrested in the murder case so far. Desai was arrested and released on bail in another case pertaining to displaying inflammatory posters, which was registered at the Cantonment police station a few months earlier.

‘In control’
A total of 40 offences have been registered and 180 persons have been arrested across the city in the violent protests, which began last week. Police officials, however, said no incidents of violence have been reported in the city since Monday night and the situation is under control. The Pune police have increased their presence in various pockets and peace committee meetings are also going on.

Anil Shirole

Shirole sparks controversy
Agency reports quoted Anil Shirole,  BJP MP from Pune, as saying that some repercussions to the Facebook posts were ‘natural’. “What appeared on Facebook was very painful. Some amount of repercussions were natural,” Shirole was reported as having told mediapersons outside Parliament yesterday. When mid-day spoke to him in the evening, however, Shirole claimed his statements had been twisted by the media. “Although the photos circulated on Facebook were painful, that doesn’t mean people should take the law into their hands. I condemn the murder of the Pune techie. Such incidents should never happen. Incidents of stone pelting are also condemnable,” Shirole told mid-day.

Osmanabad link

The Pune Police confirmed that the objectionable photos uploaded on Facebook had an Osmanabad link and originated from there. The pictures and posts were then circulated in Ahmednagar, before spreading to Pune.
Nearly 193 PMPML and 31 private buses have been vandalised by protestors in the violence since last week. Stone pelting incidents had been reported in the jurisdictions of 24 out of 33 police stations.

Serial offender
Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai has 23 offences registered against him at various stations in the city and rural police’s jurisdiction. The nature of the offences range from extortion to rioting. Desai was also questioned by the Pune Crime Branch in connection with the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar last year.

HRS chief Dhananjay Desai
HRS chief Dhananjay Desai was also quizzed in connection with the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar last year

The Desai-led Hindu Rashtra Sena had protested outside Balgandharva Rangmandir against a play performed by Yerawada jail inmates that actor Sanjay Dutt was supposed to take part in and had also attacked the office of a news channel in Mumbai in 2007.

Known for its aggressive stance on several issues pertaining to Hindutva ideology, the HRS has been active in Pune and other parts of the state for a decade. Desai, who hails from Mumbai, now lives in Paud, around 30 km from Pune city.

Shirole sparks controversy
Shirole sparks controversy Agency reports quoted Anil Shirole,  BJP MP from Pune, as saying that some repercussions to the Facebook posts were ‘natural’. “What appeared on Facebook was very painful. Some amount of repercussions were natural,” Shirole was reported as having told mediapersons outside Parliament yesterday.

When mid-day spoke to him in the evening, however, Shirole claimed his statements had been twisted by the media. “Although the photos circulated on Facebook were painful, that doesn’t mean people should take the law into their hands. I condemn the murder of the Pune techie. Such incidents should never happen. Incidents of stone pelting are also condemnable,” Shirole told mid-day.

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