August 1, 2017 4:22:19 am
DISTRICT GOVERNMENT pleader Ujjwala Pawar started arguments in the Mohsin Shaikh murder case in the sessions court on Monday and opposed the provisional bail plea filed by accused Dhananjay Jayram Desai, alias Bhai (35), who is the founder of the radical outfit Hindu Rasthra Sena (HRS). A native of Solapur who worked as an engineer at a private firm in Pune, Mohsin was allegedly killed during the communal clashes that broke out in 2014, after the circulation of objectionable pictures of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Bal Thackeray. Mohsin, who was on his way home with a friend after offering prayers at a mosque in Hadapsar on the night of June 2, 2014, was allegedly attacked by youths associated with the HRS.
Mohsin died during treatment. His brother Mobin Shaikh (26) filed a complaint of murder in this regard at the Hadapsar police station. As many as 21 HRS activists, including Desai, resident of Parmar Bungalow in Paud, were arrested in connection with the case. Of these 21, 18 accused, including a minor, are currently out on bail. Three others, including Desai, are still lodged in prison.
Desai’s lawyer Milind Pawar had filed an application for provisional bail on medical grounds about two months ago. But the hearing on this application did not take place because advocate Ujjawal Nikam, who was then the special public prosecutor (SPP), had suddenly quit.
Later, Mohsin’s family wrote to the government seeking appointment of senior lawyer Rohini Salian as SPP. However, following request, district government pleader Ujjwala Pawar appeared as a prosecution lawyer in the case in the sessions court on July 26.
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As no decision was taken by the government about Salian’s appointment, Mohsin’s father Mohammed Sadiq Shaikh wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on July 28, requesting him to appoint advocate Ujjwala Pawar as SPP in the case.
According to Mohammed Sadiq, the chief minister agreed and passed oral orders to the home secretary in this regard, while a written order for appointment of advocate Ujjwala Pawar as SPP is expected soon.
Ujjwala Pawar argued before the additional sessions judge R N Sardesai on Monday. Seeking provisional bail of four weeks on medical grounds, defence lawyer Milind Pawar said Desai’s health was collapsing and was not getting proper treatment in jail. The defence lawyer also pointed out that most of the accused in this case, including those who were alleged to be present during the murder and from whom recoveries related to the crime were made, have got bail. “But Desai’s bail was rejected earlier because the prosecution submitted false information before the court that 30 minutes before the murder he (Desai) gave a speech instigating the HRS youths in Hadapsar, due to which they attacked Mohsin Shaikh, causing his death…No such information is included in the chargesheet filed by the police. There is no evidence to show that Desai was present at the crime scene and gave a hate speech to provoke the youths to attack Muslims,” he added.
Opposing the bail plea, advocate Ujjwala Pawar said the jail Desai was lodged at has the facility to provide medical treatment the accused needed. She added that the accused is not entitled to bail.
She also read out the statements of some of the witnesses, showing how the accused HRS members allegedly attacked Muslims in Hadapsar after they were provoked by the speech of their leader Dhananjay Desai, due to which Mohsin was killed. The court adjourned the hearing on Monday and the next hearing is August 2.
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