A fact finding committee of the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) has claimed that the murder of Muslim techie Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh in Hadapsar, allegedly by the activists of Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS), was a well planned conspiracy and not a “random attack”.
In a press conference on Saturday, members of the fact-finding committee demanded that a central special investigation team (SIT) comprising reputed officers should be formed to investigate the atrocities on Muslims of Pune in June 2014. The committee also demanded a fast track court and appointment of a special public prosecutor in consultation with the victims to try these cases.
Other demands included the payment of compensation of Rs 25 lakh to Mohsin’s family, action against the police officers who did not act against the culprits during the riots, and the expediting of the investigation by the cyber cell to identify and arrest those who posted the posts on Facebook.
The committee alleged that government officials are biased against the minority communities, and so sensitisation programmes for the police and revenue officials should be conducted on the issues of minorities. The committee demanded the deployment of Muslim officers and more police personnel in areas where Muslims are largely populated.
The fact finding committee comprised of Prof A Marx of the People Union For Human Rights, Chennai, Reny Ayline, National Secretary, NCHRO, Prof G K Ramasamy, People Democratic Forum, Bangalore, Advocates Y K Shabana, Babita Kesharwani of Mumbai, Sudhir Dhawale, Editor of “Vidrohi”, Mumbai and Rupali Jadhav, an artiste of Kabir Kala Manch. Incidentally, Dhawale was arrested for his alleged links with Maoists in 2011. He was acquitted by the court and released in May 2014.
A Marx, head of the committee, said it visited about 100 victims and eyewitnesses of the recent communal clashes in Pune that started from May 31. “We concluded that the murder of Mohsin was well-planned and not a random attack by HRS,” he said.
Dhawale said, “Police have a casual approach towards HRS. We spoke to the police officers about a ban on HRS. But an officer said – how can HRS be banned just after one crime?”
Pune police have so far arrested 21 persons allegedly associated with the HRS, including its chief, Dhananjay alias Bhai Desai (34), in connection with the murder of Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh at Hadapsar on June 2, following the communal clashes that started due to the spread of derogatory pictures of Maratha King Shivaji and Bal Thackeray uploaded on a Facebook (FB) profile. The committee alleged that intelligence agencies and police failed to control the activities of Hindu outfits like HRS, due to which the riots spread and led to Mohsin’s murder.