THREE men, who were rounded up by Pune Police after “vigilante-style raids” on their homes by MNS workers and a police team on Saturday on the suspicion that they were Bangladeshi migrants, were released after it was confirmed that they were Indian citizens from West Bengal.
One of the men has submitted a complaint against MNS workers, alleging harassment, trespassing and invasion of privacy. No FIR has been registered so far.
The incident took place on Saturday morning when about 50 MNS workers, led by party leader Rahul Gawli, barged into a building in Balajinagar area of Dhankavadi. Accompanied by policemen, they entered the homes of three ‘suspected Bangladeshis’ and demanded documentary evidence that they were Indians. The three men, identified as Dilshad Mansuri, Roshan Shaikh and Bappi Sardar, were rounded up, questioned in front of other residents of the locality and asked to fetch documents to prove their identity. Although the men reportedly showed documents to prove that they hailed from Bengal, they were taken to Sahakarnagar police station and detained there till Saturday evening before being released.
Dilshad operates a food stall, Bappi is an electrician and Roshan earns a living by polishing gold and silver jewellery.
Roshan said he hails from Hooghly district in West Bengal and shifted to Pune in 1998.
In his complaint at Sahakarnagar police station, he said, “At the police station, police took details about my mother who stays in Hooghly and called her. She confirmed that I belong to Hooghly, but the police officer asked her to go to the nearest police station and request local police to re-confirm to Pune police that I was her son and born in India. My mother had to rush to the Pandua police station and request the policeman to speak to their counterparts in Pune. Even after this was done, they made me wait at the police station until 6 pm, while my wife and children anxiously waited for me”.
Confirming that the three are Indian citizens, ACP Sarjerao Babar said, “All three men are Indians and hence they were let off. It’s true that one of the three has submitted a complaint, alleging that he was harassed by MNS activists. We will inquire and take appropriate action”.
A MNS leader said the party high command had asked them to conduct raids and continued to claim that the men were Bangladeshis. “Raj Thackeray saheb had given us an ‘aadesh’ to remove Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims staying in Maharashtra illegally. Accordingly, we gathered early morning in the presence of police at Balajinagar, where many illegal immigrants stay. After the raids, we handed over the illegal Bangladeshis to police. Although they showed documents, they clearly were fake.” said party leader Sachin Katkar.
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