Nearly five years after he was arrested in connection with the murder of techie Mohsin Shaikh in Pune, Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) leader Dhananjay Desai was Saturday released from Yerwada jail after he was granted bail by the Bombay High Court.
Desai’s supporters took out a rally and waved saffron flags to celebrate his release.
A native of Solapur, Mohsin worked as an engineer in a private firm in Pune. During the communal clashes that broke out over alleged circulation of ‘objectionable’ pictures of Shivaji Maharaj and Bal Thackeray, youths associated with the HRS allegedly attacked Mohsin while he was returning home with his friend Riyaz Ahmed Mubarak Shendure after offering prayers in Hadapsar on June 2, 2014. Mohsin died during treatment. His brother Mobin Shaikh (26) had filed a complaint of murder with the Hadapsar police station in the matter.
According to the complaint, “The assailants had intercepted Mohsin and Riyaz at Satav Plot in Unnati Nagar. As Mohsin had a beard, a skull cap and was wearing a light green Pathani shirt, they attacked him with hockey sticks and banged a cement block in his head.”
The complaint claimed that the HRS activists had also attacked another youth, Amin Harun Shaikh, 30.
During investigation, the police arrested as many as 21 HRS activists, including their leader Dhananjay Desai, a resident of Parmar Bungalow in Paud. Desai has been in jail since then.
Desai’s bail applications were rejected multiple times by various courts. Last month, the Bombay High Court granted him bail while setting conditions for his release. The court directed him to not to upload any posts online and also refrain from giving speeches. The HC also asked Desai to submit an affidavit in this regard.
On January 24, an affidavit, signed by Desai, was submitted to the court in the presence of the jailer of Yerwada Central Prison, stating: “I undertake that, till the conclusion of trial, pending before the Sessions Court, Pune, the applicant (Desai) shall not in any manner whatsoever involve in any public/political activities related to or organised at the behest of Hindu Rashtra Sena or even otherwise.”
The affidavit also said that Desai will “not participate or deliver any public speeches in any manner whatsoever and shall not work with any other organisation till the conclusion of trial”.
In the affidavit, Desai further said that he would withdraw all kiosks, signboards, banners and any publication material related to HRS with immediate effect.
Desai’s lawyer Milind Pawar said he was released from Yerwada jail Saturday afternoon.
Reacting to his release, Mohsin’s brother Mobin said, “Desai’s presence outside is a threat to society. The government should have taken steps to ensure that he didn’t come out on bail. We have been demanding that the trial be fast-tracked, but that too has not happened.”