Pune mob violence over 'Bal Thackeray pics' kills 1

  • Yogesh Joshi, Hindustan Times, Pune
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2014 12:03 IST

One person was killed and two others injured when an angry mob protesting over morphed pictures of Chhatrapati Shivaji and late Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray uploaded on Facebook allegedly turned violent.

Mohsin Shaikh, 29, was returning home late on Monday evening after performing Namaz when protesters attacked him in Hadapsar area on the outskirts of Pune.

Shaikh, an IT graduate who was accompanied by his brother, succumbed to his injuries early on Tuesday, sparking tension in the area.

Those injured in the incident are Izaz Yusuf Bagwan, 25, and Ameen Shaikh, 25.

Ever since the morphed pictures uploaded on the social networking site came to light on Friday, parts of Maharashtra have witnessed violent protests with shops and public transport buses being damaged.

Since the protests refused to die down despite the police blocking the link, series of peace committee meetings were called in Hadapsar and other areas of Pune to ensure that the situation remains calm.

As one of the meetings ended and people started coming out, a mob of around 2,000 persons gathered on Solapur road after rumours swirled that a statue of Shivaji has been desecrated and a girl raped by men of different community.

Angry protesters tried to put a bakery on fire.

Minutes after, another mob of around 25 persons came on motorbikes and started attacking members of other community at a nearby location.

In the attack, which was carried out with stones and hockey streak, Shaikh sustained severe injuries on his head.

After his death in the hospital, the police requested his relatives to take his body in Solapur to prevent tension from being snowballed into communal clash.

"The police officials first found out a vehicle based on it we arrested the protesters. We also have CCTV footage that shows these protesters entering into the area where attack took place,” said joint commissioner of police Sanjay Kumar.

Police have registered an offence against unidentified persons for uploading the distorted images.

They have arrested 130 persons in the last four days on charges of rioting.

Police have also arrested 13 persons linked to Hindu Rashtra Sena, said joint commissioner of police Kumar.

According to Kumar, a curfew was clamped in the area on Monday night to prevent situation from going worse.

On Tuesday morning, life returned to normal in Hadapsar area even though shops remained closed.

The police have also arrested Dhananjay Desai, chief of Hindu Rashtra Sena, who has various criminal cases against him.

A little known organisation, Hindu Rashtra Sena is rightwing outfit known for its extreme views.

It was in the news when members of the outfit carried out an attack against a Marathi news channel.

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