Meet Bhai, man who heads Hindu group blamed for techie’s murder

Desai is currently in police custody for allegedly distributing pamphlets with objectionable content.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni , Chandan Shantaram Haygunde | Pune | Updated: June 6, 2014 8:19 am
Dhananjay Desai has been named in 23 cases. Dhananjay Desai has been named in 23 cases.

From a small unit limited to Vile Parle area of Mumbai, the Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) has grown into a radical Hindu outfit in Maharashtra. Its leader, Dhananjay Desai alias Bhai, 34, is reported to wield strong influence among the youth, particularly in the suburbs of Pune, parts of Mumbai and some districts across the state.

Police records show Desai has been named in 23 cases ranging from firearms recovery to extortion and rioting. He was among those questioned in the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar. Desai is currently in police custody for allegedly distributing pamphlets with objectionable content.

Despite the past cases, the state authorities seem to be taking serious note of the HRS only now, after a Muslim techie, Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, 28, was allegedly murdered by its activists. While 17 HRS activists have been arrested in the case so far, none of them have a criminal record.

The Pune police have started compiling a dossier on the HRS with the “criminal records” of Desai and its other members. This is being considered a first step towards proposing a ban on the organisation. Asked if a ban was being proposed, Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur said, “It is not a one-day process. We are working in that direction. Documents about HRS activities are being collected.”

Police sources said Desai is known to be a rabble-rouser whose aim is to draw the youth, particularly from rural areas and slums, to the radical Hindutva ideology.

“A graduate from Tilak College in Mumbai, Desai was inclined towards Hindutva ideology since his childhood,” said Yogesh Kupekar,  who supervises the HRS office in Mumbai. “Bhai was influenced by the Shiv Sena in the 1980s. But he wanted to form his own group and work for the cause of Hindutva. So he started working in the name of Hindu Rashtra Sena when he was only 14 years old,” he said.

“Bhai was a teenager when he took an open stand against the Muslim mafia who carried out the 1992 Mumbai blasts. The youth got attracted to him due to his fiery speeches and aggressive protests. He soon developed a strong base in Pune and other parts of the state. Bhai got the blessings of Bal Thackeray and many Hindu sants for his dedicated work for Hindutva,” said Kupekar.

“However, we found that no political parties, including the BJP, were taking a stand on Hindutva issues. So in 2007, we got the HRS registered as a political party,” he said.

The HRS, however, is yet to contest any election. “We supported the BJP-Shiv Sena-RPI (Athavale) alliance (in the Lok Sabha polls). We did not field any candidate as it would have divided the Hindu vote bank. But Bhai held about 100 rallies across the state to campaign for the Shiv Sena, BJP candidates who later emerged victorious, “ said Kupekar.

The HRS website, which has pictures of Shivaji, Veer Savarkar, B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Phule, claims it is the only “political party that fights for the cause of God, nation and religion.”

It was in April 2007 that the HRS first hit the headlines after its activists targeted the Star News office in Mumbai for airing a story on a minor Hindu girl who wanted to marry a Muslim youth. Desai and his supporters were arrested, but later released on bail.

In September 2013, the HRS announced plans to hurl footwear at actor Sanjay Dutt, a convict in the Mumbai blasts, at a cultural programme in Pune. The programme was cancelled, but HRS activists still created a ruckus at the spot. HRS activists were also booked for staging protests outside Dutt’s Mumbai residence in May 2013.

The outfit has also taken an aggressive stand in support of Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya and others arrested in the Malegaon blast case.

Desai is regularly invited for meetings of Hindu outfits across the country, where he shares the stage with radical Hindu leaders like Pramod Muthalik of the Shri Ram Sene and Himani Savarkar of Abhinav Bharat. Known to move in “convoy”, Desai is always accompanied by his bodyguards.

Police have observed that a majority of the HRS activists hail from poor families. “Most of the accused (in the techie case) are college dropouts and come from weak financial background,” said DCP (Zone IV) Manoj Patil.

While police believe HRS activists raise funds through extortion, Ankush Gaikwad, a state coordinator of HRS, said, “We never extort money. We all follow Bhai because he is a selfless leader. Party workers spend money from their pockets for HRS… our activities are not big budget.”

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  1. R
    Rocky Rana
    Jun 6, 2014 at 5:08 am
    There are mainstream leaders and MP's from minority community making hate speeches everyday against majority without any fear so why single out Mr Desai. I think all this drama is been enacted by Congress stooges to try to embarr Mr. Modi. How runs the govt in Maharashtra? Is it Modi?
    Reply
    1. V
      Vivek kumar
      Jun 6, 2014 at 1:25 am
      Bhai (Dhananjay Desai) is a hero. Though his motto "Uthao Dandya bhagao Landya" (Pick up sticks and kickout muslims) is a little radical. But he is a hero for fighting against Jihadis and Government unwillingness to take any action against Jihadis and radical muslims
      Reply
      1. B
        Bibhuti
        Jun 6, 2014 at 9:44 am
        le of this article should be "Bhau ki Autobiography-Short Mein".
        Reply
        1. B
          Bibhuti
          Jun 6, 2014 at 9:42 am
          who's gonno read the entire article ?
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            Misbah Syed
            Jun 7, 2014 at 7:14 am
            Indian Government should ban this HRS in Nation wide this is so stupid to attach on Innocent kid....If they have balls they would not attack innocent
            Reply
            1. G
              govindss
              Jun 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm
              How about the journalists use more appropriate language like it is only alleged at this stage and not proven they are involved. Who knows if under political pressure to find someone to blame theyve pulled up a little known hindu group? Obviously if they or a member is found to be to blame then the law needs to take its course. But how come trial by media is not a crime in India. Police are still investigating the case so why jump to conviction.
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                Mohammed Khader
                Jun 6, 2014 at 2:03 am
                This is guaranteed that no action will be taken against HRS.
                Reply
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                  NaMoona VS
                  Jun 6, 2014 at 3:45 am
                  Desai is following Modiji's footsteps. Bhai for PM in 2024??
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Meenal V
                    Jun 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm
                    Food Water are Elixir of Life. Where was Dr. Narendra Dabholkar wrong? It is our Nation where scientists and Mathematicians like C V Raman, Aryabhatta and other great scientists and Mathematicians were Born. Didn't real doctors treat us in life threatening situations? I mentioned the virtuous saints because, i myself did not understand why faith and patience are sisters. The day he was inhumanly heinously murdered the contrast struck. My angel kept repeating cut "t" for tension from the word Patient, be nice and compion and keep trying and then the Golden trait Patience was point of Enlightenment when i underwent a surgery. I pray these sinners get a Legal Chemotherapy as was done in the Nirbhaya Case. Inculcation of Scientific Temper and Gender Equality be always retained.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Meenal V
                      Jun 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm
                      The so called egoist revengeful atude should be reminded of The omnipresent, omniscient omnipotent Lord of Wisdom Ganesh and other temples especially Shirdi's Sai Baba with a bigger tagline "Sabka Malik Ek" which in itself is Hindi. What have they taken women's dignity for? what have they taken faith and patience granted for? whom are they insulting? Didactic Remedial Solution would be they need to read what is DURGA or chant the name of original Arch Mr. Kailaspati. They are all Breaching Mother India's DIGNITY!!! All are breaching RIGHT to EQUALITY!!!! For me, Our I N D I A stands for I Need Development In ALL!!!! Sincerely, meenal
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Meenal V
                        Jun 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm
                        Voting being first a responsibility and then a Right, i simply voted for Justice for Equality's Sake. For Humanity's Sake.
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                        1. M
                          Mitch, New
                          Jun 6, 2014 at 4:11 am
                          Why dont they hang people like this bhai instead of going after Sanjay Dutt whose main crime was he had gun. This guy bhai is a murderer/terrorist.
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                          1. P
                            P Nasarudheen.
                            Jun 7, 2014 at 2:53 am
                            Poor boy became a "Bhai".He should not have been encouraged to such wrongs by the parties.
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              Pinku
                              Jun 6, 2014 at 8:34 am
                              Did I read the entire article?
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Raj Kohli
                                Sep 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm
                                He operates on orders from Amit Shah who operates on orders from Narendra modi.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Rajesh
                                  Jun 6, 2014 at 6:54 am
                                  Did you read the entire article? Bal Thackeray blessed this man and his outfit..
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    ramdas
                                    Jun 6, 2014 at 7:59 am
                                    Congis are responsible for stoking the communal pions where Sonia openly asks for bukhari support. 😈
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Rocky Rocky
                                      Jun 6, 2014 at 3:38 am
                                      A problem with all these Shiv Saniks and others like it is that they prey on the weak. They need to go after the terrorists and other divisive forces.
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        sachin
                                        Jun 6, 2014 at 8:52 pm
                                        The problem is whether it is electronic or print media both show only one sided story as if radicals are not in other communities.. this media is the biggest communal thing happened after independence... does this media cover when owasis keep on giving communal speech everyday in hyderabad...?
                                        Reply
                                        1. s
                                          shrikant1384
                                          Jun 6, 2014 at 5:53 am
                                          Did you read the entire article. ?? He does not have any affiliation with SS !!!
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Suman
                                            Jun 6, 2014 at 4:42 am
                                            Already Countries like Malaysia,Indonesia,Afganistan,Iran has been fully Islamized and are now an full islam country...now Countries like Belgium,Sweden etc are also on verge of Islamization...go to youtube..you will find videos indicating Islam will take over all Europe upto 2050..these ppl go their as immigrants and slowly take over the majorities of those countries..by blasting potions..Islamic immigrants should be banned in all Non-Islamic countries..the concept of Hinduism can only be understodd by secular fools when their own family will be burned by Muslims like Godhra...till that they will sip cup of tea and happily debate on this......
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