Pune: A local court in Pune has acquitted all accused, including Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Jayram, in the case of lynching of Mohsin Shaikh, 28, in 2014. The court of additional Sessions judge SB Salunkhe, acquitted all accused in the case, defence lawyer Sudhir Shah said.
As many as 21 activists of the Hindu Rashtra Sena, a radical outfit, were booked in the case. Twenty of them were arrested by the police while one of them turned out to be a minor. All accused were later released on bail.
The case dates back to June 2, 2014, when Mohsin, an engineer by profession, was attacked while he was returning after offering prayers at a mosque in Hadapsar. The attack came in the wake of tensions prevailing in the city after certain objectionable images of Shivaji Maharaj and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray were circulated on social media.
As per the FIR lodged by Mohsin’s brother at the Hadapsar police station in Pune, the assailants, allegedly owing allegiance to the HRS, intercepted Mohsin and his friend Riyaz Ahmed at Satav Plot in Unnati Nagar around 9.15 PM. “As Mohsin had a beard, a skull cap and was wearing a light green Pathani shirt, they attacked him with hockey sticks and banged a cement block on his head,” the FIR reads.
Mohsin died after a few hours while being treated at a hospital.
Initially, senior advocate Ujjwal Nikam was appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor in the case on the request by Mohsin’s family to then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. However, Nikam’s appointment was opposed by Anjum Inamdar of the Rashtrapremi Kruti Samiti on June 12, 2014, citing Nikam’s links to right-wing groups.
Nikam’s appointment as the SPP was also opposed by Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Hussain Dalwai in July 2014. Eventually, Nikam requested that his appointment be cancelled, which the government accepted in 2017. The case was subsequently argued by Ujjwala Pawar and later by Dhaigude Patil.
“It is unfortunate that all the accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence. We will support Mohsin’s family in the legal battle further,” Inamdar said.
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