Mohsin Shaikh murder case: Bombay High Court grants bail to three accused

Mohsin Shaikh

By Siddhant Mohan,

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted bail to three men accused of killing Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, a 28-year-old techie based in Pune in 2014. The accused men belong to a radical Hindu outfit Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS), whose chief Dhananjay Desai is also behind bars in the same case.

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The decision on bail application followed a fresh set of hearing after the directive of Supreme Court of India. The three accused were also granted bail in January 2017 but their bail was challenged by the victim’s family in the Apex court.

In February this year, the apex court issued a directive to Bombay High Court while deciding the bail pleas, and told the latter to decide based on the same set of directives.

High Court stated, “the fault of the deceased was only that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favor of the applicants/accused,” while granting the bail to the three accused last time.

Namely, Vijay Rajendra Gambhire, Ganesh alias Ranjeet Shankar Yadav, and Ajay Dili Lalge were allegedly involved in the killing of Mohsin Shaikh. However, Justice Mridula Bhatkar of Bombay HC, while granting the bail on Wednesday, said, “It is not a pre-designed crime. The accused had no personal vendetta against the deceased Mohsin.”

“They were provoked by the speech and discussion in the meeting, which had taken place just half an hour before the incident,” Justice Bhatkar further added.

While also staying the trial of the accused, Justice Bhatkar noted, “Thus, there is no possibility of commencement of trial in the near future.”

On June 2, 2014, 28-year-old Pune-based IT professional Mohsin Shaikh was murdered by the members of Hindu Rashtra Sena when he was returning from the mosque after prayers. At the time of the incident, morphed and objectional images of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray were being circulated on social media, which gave rise to communal stress in the city.

The three men are listed among 21 accused, allegedly the member of HRS, including HRS Chief Dhananjay Desai, who were booked for the killing of Mohsin Shaikh in Hadsapar on June 2, 2014.