Mumbai,11 June-2014(TCN): In what can be termed as a significant and daring move, the Pune crime branch has finally booked Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) chief Dhananjay Dedsai for the gruesome killing of Muslim Techie Mohsin Shaikh (28 Years) in Pune last week. The investigation into the case can be supposed to be going in the right direction as it has arrested 18 Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRA) activists for the innocent’s murder so far.
The arrest of Dhanajay Desai came a day after when the crime branch arrested two more members of Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) – Pratik Pandit Sangle (20) and Prasad Balasaheb Pansare (22) from Bhekrainagar in Hadapsar area of Pune.
Assistant commissioner of police (cyber cell) Gopinath Patil told newspapers that Sangle and Pansare were arrested after investigations showed that they had allegedly participated along with others in a group attack on Shaikh.
Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai was arrested for his alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy that led to the murder of 28 year-old Mohsin Shaikh on June 2 in Hadapsar.
Senior police officials said that interrogation of 17 suspects arrested so far for attacking Mohsin revealed that Desai had instigated them to launch a series of violent protests after objectionable posts were put up on a social media site.
The Crime Branch of Pune had earlier summoned Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai for questioning and had arrested him in connection with a previous case at Pune Cantonment police station, relating to distribution of objectionable pamphlets in March this year.
After ascertaining his role in the killing of Muslim techie which was a part of violent protest under taken by HRS along with other communal outfits, he was arrested yesterday in the case and was to be produced before magistrate on Wednesday for seeking his police custody.
Desai, according to the police, is a history-sheeter who has been named in 23 cases registered against him in Mumbai and Pune. While three of the cases are related to dacoity and possession of arms, others pertain to hate speeches made by him. Last year he was also questioned by crime branch police in connection with the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
As the investigation is progressing swiftly, till now in all 18 HRS members have been arrested and two minors have been detained.
Dhananjay Desai [Courtesy: hindujagruti.org]
Hindu Rashtra Sena, Its chief Dhananjay Desai and its 4000 activists in Pune
Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) was formed about a decade ago by Desai, who hails from Mumbai and currently stays at Paud in Pune district. The HRS is known for its aggressive agitations on Hindutva issues. On several occasions Desai has shared stage with controversial right-wing leaders like Pramod Muthalik of Shri Ram Sene and Himani Savarkar of Abhinav Bharat, members of which have been arrested by state ATS for their involvement in Malegaon 2008 blasts. He was chief guest at a function to release a book by Sanatan Sanstha activist Vikram Bhave, who has been convicted by sessions court in the Thane blast case.
HRS was in news for the attack on Star News office at Mumbai in April 2007 ( for telecasting a news item on a Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim youth) and for staging protests outside Dutt’s Mumbai residence in May 2013 claiming that he was being given VIP treatment in jail.
The HRS had also taken an aggressive stand in support of Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya and other Hindu radicals arrested in the Malegaon blast case by state ATS lead by late Hemant Karkare.
Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) chief Dhananjay Desai has a following of nearly 4,000 youths across Pune district, police sources say. The officer said the number of Desai’s supporters is far bigger than that of any criminal gang in the city and most of his supporters are jobless and come from a financially weak background.
Desai has a support base in different parts of the city, including Kothrud, Warje Malwadi, Hinjewadi, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Yerawada and Hadapsar. Several of his followers are from district areas such as Loni Kalbhor and Urali Kanchan.
“Desai has managed to attract these youths, most of whom are aged between 19 and 24, through his provocative speeches. He is accompanied by these youths wherever he goes. Nowadays, he has started moving around in a convoy of vehicles with his supporters,” an officer from the crime branch said.
Police sources said that Desai shifted from Mumbai to the outskirts of Pune a few years back. “To tend to his supporters, many of whom are from economically weaker backgrounds, Desai brokers settlements in disputes mainly related to land and other properties,” a senior police officer from the Pune crime branch said.
Meanwhile, senior crime branch officials on Friday were busy collecting information about the HRS and Desai. Officials from various police stations in the city were summoned to the crime branch to provide details about the HRS. “We are collecting evidence so that we can at least begin the proceedings to impose a ban on the HRS,” the officer said. [Input source: TCN)