Police have arrested one Abdul Karim Azgarali Shaikh,allegedly a member of the radical Popular Front of India (PFI),on charges of promoting enmity among different groups on religious grounds. Shaikh (27),a resident of Ghorpadigaon,has been booked under Section 153 (a) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of Public Property Defacement Act.
Police suspect that the PFI had carried out a poster campaign in the city for creating communal problems ahead of the Ganesh festival and Ramzan.
They had earlier arrested software engineer Mohammed Sajid Qureshi (38),a resident of Sarvoday Society,NIBM Road,and state secretary of PFI,and aide Samsher Pathan (33) of Kausarbag Society,Kondhwa,in this connection.
Police said the PFI members had put up posters in Kondhwa and other parts of the city early on August 9,which said 10 blasts in 7 states in 4 years… Hindutva Hand Exposed.. Save India Day…9 August 2010. The posters,carrying pictures of various bomb blasts,claimed that the Hindu groups were behind 10 bomb blasts Samjhauta Express,Mecca Masjid,Ajmer,Thane,Kanpur,Nanded,Malegaon I and II,Hubli and Goa.
Qureshi and Pathan,who were arrested by Kondhwa police,are now in the custody of Samartha police. Shaikh was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly putting up posters in Nana Peth area.
Shaikh has attended gatherings of PFI in Pune. He is working with a caterer. He has been remanded in police custody till August 21, said inspector Bhagwant Ingle.
Police have now launched a hunt for PFI state president Sadiq Isaq Qureshi and one Rafiq Bagwan (52) of Bhagyoday Nagar,Kondhwa.
They suspect that Sadiq,who was arrested earlier for allegedly putting up posters on Babri Masjid demolition on December 6,2009,was the mastermind behind the campaign.