In Pune, ‘Hindu zealots’ kill man over ‘offensive’ Facebook post, 13 arrested

In Pune, ‘Hindu zealots’ kill man over ‘offensive’ Facebook post, 13 arrested

PUNE: A 28-year-old man was beaten to death on Monday night by people with suspected links with a Hindu fundamentalist outfit over a Facebook message they found offensive, according to police.

Six more youths were arrested on Wednesday for the murder of Mohsin Mohammed Sadique Shaikh. The police had initially arrested seven youths. Shaikh was bludgeoned to death after being beaten with hockey sticks near his residence here on Monday night.

Shaikh had been living in Pune since 2006 and was working as a manager in the IT department of a textile firm since the last four years.

The six youths who were taken into custody on Wednesday are Prashant Thorat (21), Akshay Ladge (20), Vijay Gambhire (24), Vicky Kandhare (19), Akshay Sonawane (19) and Ravi Sathe (21).

A police inspector told TOI that all the 13 arrested were members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena.

The police suspect that Shaikh was killed randomly after rumours spread over an objectionable post on the social networking site.

Shaikh’s cousin Salman said that the victim and his roommate were returning home on their motorcycle after picking up their dinner.

“A gang of youths blocked his way near the lane just behind his house and started hitting him with sticks. While the roommate managed to escape, they bludgeoned my cousin with stones and fled. He was lying covered in blood for about 15 minutes. His brother rushed there and took him to a nearby hospital where he died during treatment,” he said.

A little before the murder, the same youths had beaten up two other men at the same spot. On Tuesday night, the police had arrested Vishal Sunnave (21), Atul Agam (21), Ranajit Yadav (24), Shubham Barde (19), all from Hadapsar, Dada Modak (19) and Aakash Lashkare (19), both from Vadki, and Sagar Sutar (19) of Phursungi. They were remanded in police custody till June 9.

Assistant public prosecutor Pandit Jadhav told the court that the custodial interrogation of the suspects was essential for recovering the hockey sticks and stones allegedly used in committing the murder.