Pune: The Pune police have arrested 17 people suspected to be associated with a right wing group, Hindu Rashtra Sena, for allegedly beating a 24-year-old IT professional to death in Pune on Monday in a suspected hate crime. Some of those arrested have been charged with murder.
Hindu Rashtra Sena leader Dhananjay Desai has been arrested in another case, but his role in the youth's murder is being looked into. The Joint Commissioner of Police said that an SMS was circulated among the accused, which proclaimed that the first wicket has fallen.
The police are on the lookout for the remaining accused who have been identified.
This incident comes just days after certain inflammatory posts were posted on a social networking website, Facebook. The posts were removed but not before tension was reported from some areas of Maharashtra.
The software professional Shaikh Mohasin Sadiq, who hailed from Solapur and was a resident of Hadapsar, was bludgeoned to death on Monday sparking off tensions in the area.
The trigger for the attack was apparently uploading of derogatory pictures of warrior king Shivaji and late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Facebook, which led to a protest bandh on Sunday.
Sadiq worked in the IT department of a textile firm in the city. He was thrashed with sticks at Bankar Colony by the accused and succumbed to his injuries during treatment at a nearby hospital, police said. Two other youths, too, had been attacked and injured in stone throwing at the same spot on the same night.
Police said the case was handed over to Crime Branch and they have appealed to citizens not to believe or spread rumours as the situation is peaceful. Security has been beefed up in the area.
The group of men had earlier attacked 2 youth at the same spot. The police had arrested at least 180 people for indulging in stone pelting in the Pune belt last week.