Pune police claim they have been taking stern action against Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) members. A senior police officer said that 18 persons associated with HRS are in jail for alleged involvement in serious crimes in the past, which were “non-communal” in nature.
These included murder of Congress worker Prakash Anna Narayan Jondhale (46) of Gondhale Nagar area of Hadapsar in July 2013. Hadapsar police had held eight youths, including three minors, in the case, most of whom were associated with the HRS.
Police said no communal reasons were revealed in Jondhale’s murder. It was the fallout of a dispute with the attackers who are also residents of Hadapsar. Police said 15 days before the murder, Jondhale had some dispute with them following which they had lodged complaints against each other.
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Jondhale’s family alleged he was murdered because police did not take preventive action. The family had demanded that the assailants be booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
Some HRS activists were also arrested in an attempt-to-murder case in Loni Kalbhor, which was also non-communal.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone IV) Manoj Patil said, “We were swift in taking action against HRS members involved in the crimes earlier. About 18 HRS members are in jail. We externed some HRS members.”
Police sources said HRS chief Dhananjay Desai was not involved in these crimes and hence was not arrested earlier. Police are, however, probing how he managed to network youths including minor boys with a “criminal mindset” and indoctrinated them in extremist ideology.
Even in case of the murder of Mohsin Shaikh, police have detained two minor boys along with 17 HRS activists. Pune police is compiling a record of crimes registered against known HRS activists, both communal and non-communal in nature. (with inputs from Atikh Rashid)