Vijay V Singh,TNN | Jun 7, 2014, 05.52 AM IST

MUMBAI: Since last week, police have registered 187 rioting cases across the state, mainly in western Maharashtra, and arrested at least 710 miscreants belonging to various radical Hindu outfits for attacking government properties and members of the minority communities over the derogatory posts on a social networking site.The state police are also verifying if the riots are connected with the murder of Infotech professional Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh in Pune on Monday. Since last week, radical Hindu outfits have been protesting against the derogatory posts, but the agitations suddenly turned violent since May 31, claimed that police. The protestors, who were initially only targeting government properties, later started pelting stones at shops, houses and religious places of the minority community across the state, damaging property worth Rs 1.25 crore.

“There were protests in several places against the derogatory Facebook posts. We are examining the details of all the incidents and are trying to find out if they are connected with the Pune murder case,” said Deven Bharti, special inspector-general of police (law and order). After examining the details, the state police will prepare a report on the rioting incidents and the murder and submit it to the government.

On Monday evening, Shaikh was attacked by members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena in Pune’s Unnati Nagar when he was returning home with a friend after dinner. The activists were apparently enraged by the derogatory posts on Chhatrapati Shivaji and late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. But later it was learnt that Shaikh was not targeted because he was taken to be the one who had uploaded the posts, but simply because he sported a beard and was in a Pathan suit, which marked him out as a Muslim. The police suspect that the attackers had targeted Shaikh randomly, but the murder was part of bigger conspiracy. “Most of the rioting incidents took place a day before the murder,” pointed out a senior police officer.

While the Pune police have arrested 17 people in connection with the murder, the Mumbai police have also started collecting details of the pending cases against Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai. They are keeping a close watch on the outfit’s activities and its office in Vile Parle. “Desai’s office in Vile Parle, but he spends most of his time in Pune,” said a senior police officer.

The police said that after examining the details of the past cases registered against Desai, they will decide if they could initiate strict action against him.


25 people held in Pune techie murder case

Yogesh Joshi, Hindustan Times  Pune, June 06, 2014

First Published: 10:16 IST(6/6/2014) | Last Updated: 11:35 IST(6/6/2014)

The police have arrested 25 persons of Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) of whom 17 have been charged with murder of Mohsin Shaikh, an IT graduate, who was bludgeoned to death on Monday after protests over morphed pictures of Bal Thackeray and Chhatrapati Shivaji went viral on social networking sites.

While two among the 17 persons accused of killing Shaikh are juvenile, those arrested by police are mostly college going youths. The police are also in the process of compiling details about the HRS, said Pune police chief Satish Matur. “You have to compile enough documents backed by enough evidence before the proposal is sent (to ban any group). It is in process,” said Mathur.

Shaikh, 28, was returning home on Monday evening when around 25 members of the right wing group came on bikes, blocked his way in Hadapsar on the outskirts of Pune, took him off his bike and hit him on the head with hockey sticks and stones.

Shaikh’s death sparked tension in the area, forcing the police to clamp curfew for 12 hours when the situation eased out. Shaikh’s cousin, who was accompanying him, escaped unhurt after he fled from the spot while the two others, Ameen Shaikh, 30, and Ijaz Yusuf Bagwan, 25, sustained injuries.

‘ Repercussions to FB post natural’

BJP MP from Pune, Anil Shirole said on Thursday that though the murder of a Muslim techie allegedly by members of a Hindutva group in Pune was unfortunate, it was “natural” that there would be repercussions to a FB post that was derogatory towards Shivaji and Bal Thackeray. The techie had no connection with the derogatory post.