On the night of June 2nd 2014, 24 year old Mohsin was beaten to death by a mob of around 40 people in Hadapsar, Pune.
“Mohsin did not die because of any stone pelting; rather, he sustained many injuries, including deep injuries on his head too. The postmortem report and the eye witnesses reveal it all, and now giving the accused bail will hamper the case and they may tamper with evidence” laments Mohammed Sadiq Shaikh, the father of Mohsin Shaikh, a techie who was mercilessly killed on 2nd June 2014 in the communal violence in Pune over the issue of morphed images of Chattrapati Shivaji and the late Bal Thackeray.
Between April and June 2014, many riots broke out on the issue of morphed images of Shivaji and late Bal Thackeray that were circulated through Facebook and WhatsApp. It is unclear who created and circulated these images. Subsequently, several protests were held and provocative speeches were made in this regard by Hindu radical outfits.
“It was just a rumor of Muslims pelting stones at Sivaji statue which ignited the communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims and under such a situation, a Muslim techie with a beard and skull cap was bound to be killed and thus my friend Mohsin was killed. While I was left out because they mistook me as Hindu” said Razvi, Mohsin’s Flat mate in Bankar Colony, who was accompanying Mohsin on the tragic night.
Stunned with the loss, Sujit Mittal, owner of Ujwal Enterprises where Moshin worked as an IT manager, said, “The incident is very unfortunate and we have lost an employee who was working with the company for the last four years. He was one of the employees whom I trusted the most. I even used to give him two extra leaves because he used to go to see his parents twice a month”. Raju Chintalwar, Moshin’s colleague from his office, said that they were very good friends and the incident has left him in a state of shock. “In the office, we used to have our food together and used to share our homemade food. He was very dedicated worker.”
Botched up Investigation and Injustice
As the news about Mohsin’s murder broke across the nation, the investigating police officer remarked, “What appeared on Facebook was very painful. Some amount of repercussions was natural”, thereby raising the concerns that the whole investigation process would be compromised as police officer itself is justifying the reason for such a barbaric murder.
There were in total 21 suspects held and among them Juveniles [under18] were granted bail after two months of their arrest in 2014 while 11 were released last year. In 2016, only five suspects (two Juveniles and three other accused) continued to remain in jail after their bail applications were rejected by Pune’s session court. The Juveniles were subsequently granted bail and released, whereas in early 2017, the Bombay High Court granted bail to three main accused, Vijay Gambhire, Ranjeet Yadav and Ajay Lalge, on the basis that ‘The applicants/accused (Gambhire, Yadav and Lalge) otherwise had no other motive such as any personal enmity against the innocent deceased Mohsin. The fault of the deceased was only that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favour of the applicants/accused. Moreover, the applicants/accused do not have a criminal record and it appears that in the name of religion, they were provoked and have committed the murder’. Several judicial commentators as well as members of civil society expressed concerns over granting bail to the accused on such a pretext.
The Compensation that was Never Given
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan announced Rs.5,00,000 to the family as compensation and also promised to provide a government job to Mubin Shaikh, younger brother of Mohsin. The district level committee established that under Central Relief scheme also found deceased family eligible for compensation of 3 lakhs from the Central Government. However, even till date, there was no compensation has been given to Mohsin’s family.
Mohsin’s father told TwoCircles.net “I keep calling Mantralaya and every time they give me different answers. Sometime Jagtap Sahib picks up the phone and says the file has gone missing while other time Govidraj Sahib says it is in progress”.
(Featured image copyrights: TwoCircles.net)