By Mohd Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net,
Solapur: The bitterest part for victims perhaps is to find themselves under radar of suspicion. Family of Mohsin Shaikh, a victim of communal hate crime suffered this first hand when Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad came knocking at their door immediately after low intensity blast at Pharaskhana Police Station close to the famous Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple in Pune on July 10th which injured five people.
A resident of Solapur, Mohsin Sheikh a young techie working in Pune was killed in communal riot by activists of Hindu Rashtra Sena on 2nd June at Hadapsar locality of the city when Mohsin was returning after offering evening Namaz.
Mohsin’s father Sadiq and younger brother Mubeen.
There were unconfirmed news reports making rounds about possibility of ATS taking up the investigation of Mohsin Shaikh murder and activities of accused Hindu Rashtra Sena. When TwoCircles.net inquired with Mohsin’s father Sadiq Shaikh about any helpful approach from ATS, he informed that ATS did pay a visit to them but, appallingly not to offer any assistance but to interrogate and collect the contact numbers and all the details of Mohsin’s extended family, apparently to put them under surveillance.
Immediately after the blast a senior ATS officer Arvind Gokule came to slain Mohsin’s residence at Postal colony of Solapur. He was carrying a photograph and asked the family to identify the person. When family didn’t recognize the person in the photograph, ATS officer told them that they have some photographs of Mohsin’s funeral where the same person was spotted.
The art of functioning of ATS was also striking. A day before ATS team pays a visit, a Muslim officer from ATS named Osman Kalyani was sent to meet Mohsin’s father. He tried to build the confidence with Mr. Sadiq and asked for his cooperation, which meant sharing every bit of information of their whole extended family.
“He was carrying profile documents, he started to fill it up with every information, from my schooling to where I have worked, all my services and whatever I had done till now. Everything,” Mr. Sadiq told TCN.
The humiliation didn’t stop here; “ATS started to ask for mobile numbers of all of my brother and their sons, my nephews. All the youngsters of our family, their mobile numbers and their professional details everything was collected,” he added.
Many of Mr. Sadiq’s nephews work with different reputed IT companies in Pune. Their details were also collected with a keen interest.
Interestingly ATS officer also asked for the details of Mr. Saidq’s brother in law who himself is in service of Maharashtra police, currently serving as Deputy Supervisor in police training camp at Solapur.
Terrified in the manner in which ATS scooped over his family, Sadiq Shaikh immediately called DCP Manoj Patil of Pune who was coordinating with the family in the murder investigation. Mr. Shaikh said, “I told DCP our life is like an open book, why are we getting interrogated in this way by ATS?”
According to the grieving father of Mohsin, DCP replied back, “After these incidents in Pune, we are getting some threat messages on WhatsApp stating that ‘we will avenge Mohsin’s death;’ we tried tracking two three mobile numbers from where this messages are coming.”
DCP said ATS are unable to track those numbers yet, adding, “They just want to examine if you are receiving calls from those numbers too.”
Pune police tried to assure Mohsin’s family that ATS didn’t have any mala fide intentions. DCP told him, “Don’t take it seriously, we assure that whole police department is with you. Their (ATS) aim was not to harass or try to involve you in this case.” Trying to play it down, he said, “It’s just the process of their (ATS) investigation.”
A father so grieved with cold murder of his eldest son in his first public statement after Mohsin’s death had said, “My son was innocent, and I don’t want any innocent to be hurt in the name of Mohsin.” Remembering that period Mr. Sadiq said he worked with patience as Islam teaches the same. “I even made my son’s funeral to be performed 2 hours before the given time just to avoid large emotional crowd and any untoward incident,” Sadiq Shaikh told TwoCircles.net.
Mohsin’s family told visiting ATS team that they should also interrogate Hindu Rashtra Sena leaders as Mr. Shaikh argues, “They are the real terrorists. HRS chief Dhananjay Desai is working against the Constitution of this country, he is revolting against the nation, he is the one whole should be more thoroughly interrogated.”
Currently members of Hindu Rashtra Sena accused in Mohsin’s murder are booked under different sections of penal code by Pune Crime Branch. Their chief Dhananjay Desai is booked for criminal conspiracy, a loose charge which often doesn’t stand any chance of conviction in the trail.
Slain Mohsin Shaikh and accused HRS chief Dhananjay Desai.
When Mohsin’s father pleaded with the police to book HRS accused under more strict laws such as Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) Investigation Officer Gopinath Patil apparently refused making excuse that “MCOCA doesn’t fit into the frame of this case. Now whatever be the charges has made, let’s first put them in (jail).”
At their first meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan the very first demand Mohsin’s family made was to ban the Hindu Rashtra Sena, CM remained mum. When they again took up the issue with Home Minister R.R. Patil his answer was quite amusing, “It’s not that easy to impose a ban. It requires lot of legal and technical work but we will try.”
A team of National Commission of Minorities also raised the same demand in Pune, but even a ‘try’, an attempt is still to be made by the Maharashtra Government.
The ordeal of the Shaikh family continues as TwoCircles.net had earlier reported how the Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan has backtracked from his promise to provide a government job to Mohsin’s younger brother, the sole hope of his family.