A 28-year-old software professional was bludgeoned to death allegedly by persons with suspected links to a Hindu outfit near here, police said today.
A total of 13 persons have been arrested by police in connection with the murder of Shaikh Mohasin Sadiq in Bankar Colony in Hadapsa area on Monday night with six more people being arrested today.
The trigger for the attack was apparently uploading of derogatory pictures of warrior king Shivaji and late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Facebook by unknown persons, which led to a protest bandh on Sunday.
The murder of Sadiq, who hailed from Solapur, sparked tension in the area, police said. The victim worked in the IT department of a textile firm in the city.
The accused have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 147 (rioting) of Indian Penal Code.
They are said to be linked to Hindu Rashtra Sena, a right wing organisation.
The victim was thrashed with sticks at Bankar Colony by the accused and he succumbed to his injuries during treatment at a nearby hospital, police said.
Two other youths too had been attacked and injured in stone throwing at the same spot on the same night, according to police.
Commissioner of Police Satish Mathur told PTI this evening that "situation in Hadapsar was totally peaceful" and people were going about their normal lives.
Mathur said that the six people picked up today belonged to the same outfit of the seven members who were earlier arrested.
The seven persons arrested earlier were remanded in police custody till June 9 by a local court today.
Police said the case was handed over to Crime Branch and they have appealed to citizens not to believe or spread rumours as the situation is peaceful.
Security has been beefed up in the area.
When asked if the fatal attack had any connection with the protest over Facebook pictures, DCP Manoj Patil said, "There is no direct connection." He, however, did not rule out indirect fallout of the Facebook posts.
Patil also said the situation was now "peaceful and under control".
Among those arrested by Pune police today is Dhananjay Desai, who heads the Hindu Rashtra Sena, Commissioner of Police Satish Math Mathur said.
Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar said tonight that immediately after the murder, an SMS was circulated among the seven accused, who were picked up in the first round of arrests, proclaiming, "Pahili wicket padli (the first wicket has fallen)."
Kumar said these messages were found in the mobile phones recovered from the seven accused.
He also said that the police have registered an offence under the IT Act against unidentified persons for uploading the controversial images.
The MHA has rejected the report of the Maharashtra government that Mohsin Sadiq's killing was a law and order problem and has asked it to submit a fresh report. So it is the "secular" Congress government that is trying to brush the incident under the carpet and the "communal" BJP-led central government which is trying to get to the bottom of the case.
Wonder what our "secular" Saroja mami and Jihadi Anwaar have to say about this.
Noted. However that does not take away from the points raised. Just above the report that I had posted is the following in today's TOI timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Conspiracy-angle-in-Pune-violence-under-ATS-scan/articleshow/36180619.cms
If you have to quote SM Mushrif, it just shows how desperate you are. This is the same chap who also accused the RSS of killing Hemant Karkare on 26/11.
Next time when you quote someone, please read up on the background of the person. Blindly posting without verifying the source exposes you to more ridicule than you are already subject to.
The Pune police ignored warnings against radical Hindu outfits taking root in the city, said former inspector general of police S M Mushrif on Friday.
Mushrif told TOI that in letters to two successive city police commissioners, Meeran Borwankar and Gulabrao Pol, he had cautioned them about activities of these outfits, which included training camps for their cadre. He had said these outfits would pose a serious problem if they were left unchecked.
"Fundamentalist elements in the city have eventually grown stronger and are powerful enough to brazenly conduct violent activities," Mushrif said on Friday.
"Some fundamentalist organizations and their heads, who are masterminds in various blast cases, are in Pune. I had reported to the city's police commissioners that training camps are being conducted in the city to train people to carry out violent activities. This is happening since 2000 and late Hemant Karkare, who was detecting the Malegaon blast case, had corroborated my claims with facts," he said.
Mushrif said the state government and the police have turned a blind eye to terror activities of right wing groups in Pune. In his letters, he had listed these outfits to the top cops. "They (the state and police) are showing ignorance (about the existence of these elements) or they are incapable of handling these elements," he said, adding that the city's social fabric was being destroyed.
When contacted, former city police commissioner Gulabrao Pol said he did not wish to comment on the matter. Meeran Borwankar said, "I don't recollect any specific element he had pointed at. But whenever there were communal incidents, we had taken strict action. There are various sources of intelligence information and we have taken strict action."
Mushrif said those who claim Pune is peaceful and there is no place for anti-social activities are actually trying to cover-up right wing activities.
This failure to act against them has only emboldened these groups, said national secretary of Rashtra Seva Dal, Ashwini Satav-Doke. She said, "These acts of violence were pre-planned. Without planning it is not possible to conduct attacks on specific spots and community members. Police have failed to nab Narendra Dabholkar's killers and now Mohsin's killing shows failure of the state to control anti-social elements."
Writer scholar Anvar Rajan said, "With recent political developments these groups in Pune and Maharashtra are feeling empowered and feel that they will be protected."
S M alias Raja Dixit who heads Interdisciplinary School (Humanities and Social Sciences) in University of Pune said, "We are becoming insensitive to the extent that killing of an innocent youth does not create any rage. We have amalgamation of feudal and fascist elements in our society. These elements have blocked process of democratization. Intolerance in this city and society stands as a major challenge before us," he said.