By A Mirsab, TwoCircles.net,
Pune: June 2, 2014 was a hot day in Pune with mercury reaching 39C. This ended up being the hottest day of June that year. The heat was further raised by members of right-wing Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) who went on a violent rampage in the city. Ostensibly they were disturbed at some derogatory images of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray uploaded to the facebook.
24-year old Mohsin Shaikh, who was IT manager at a local company, was caught by the Hindutva mob when he stepped out of the Masjid at Hadapsar in Pune.
Hadapsar is the industrial hub of Pune with offices of some of the big multi-nationals present there. This tiny area has three Special Economic Zones: Magarpatta city, Amanora parktown and Fursungi IT Park (SP Infocity).
[R to L] Adv. Hafeez Qazi, Ujwal Nikam, Zahid Khan (President of Action Committee) and Azhar Tamboli
Neither the new Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan visited the family of Shaikh and gave stern statement that violence on the basis of religion will not be tolerated.
However the then Congress-led Maharashtra Government acted sternly against these extremists and 22 members of HRS were arrested including its chief Dhananjay Desai.
Two years down, apart from five – two juveniles and three others – rest of the accused continue to remain in jail after their several bail applications were rejected by Pune’s Session Court and Bombay High Court.
The juveniles were granted bail after two months of their arrest in August 2014 and three other accused – Shubnam Dattatrey Barade (19), Mahesh Maruti Khot(24) and Abhishek Chavan (29) all residents of Kalepadal near Hadapsar were granted bail by Bombay High Court in April 2016. While granted bail, the high court imposed severe conditions on the accused.
On Tuesday, a special court in Pune rejected bail plea of Dhananjay Desai for the third time. The court also rejected his discharge application citing evidences against him establishing his role in the criminal conspiracy behind the killing of Mohsin.
Considering the gravity of case, the Maharashtra state had appointed Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam in this case. However, Sadiq Shaikh, father of Mohsin Shaikh too appointed a lawyer Hafeez Qazi as an intervener in the case who remains present during every hearing of the matter.
Explaining why he appointed a lawyer in the case, Sadiq Shaikh tells TwoCircles.net, “My advocate keeps a close watch in the case and informs me about proceedings. I want to make sure perpetrators of Mohsin’s murder are not granted bail or the case is not weakened against them and therefore I have intervened in the case from the start.”
He is not happy with the delay in trial and wants speedy justice. He says, “FortTwo years they have been arrested but charges have not been framed against the accused. Justice will only be done when they are put to harshest punishment. “
Talking about the delay in the matter, Advocate Qazi told TwoCircles.net, “The delay caused in the framing of charges is not intentional. Prosecution has drafted charges but it is not able to frame it because accused keeps filing discharge applications before court and as a procedure unless court decides discharge pleas, it cannot frame charges”.
“Now that all discharge applications are rejected by court, we can expect court to soon frame charges and start trial”, he adds.
Azhar Tamboli, a social activist in Pune accompanies advocate Qazi in court on behalf of Sadiq Shaikh and facilitates between them for providing documents and other information.
“I saw Sadiq Shaikh making rounds of Pune for hearing of the matter. In order to provide him some relief from travelling, I voluntarily attend every hearing and inform him of every proceedings”, Tamboli told TwoCirlces.net.
Tamboli had played an important role in taking care of Mubin, brother of Mohsin. Mohsin was beaten to death before Mubin’s eyes by the accused. Overcome with emotions Mubin was shouting, abusing and crying at the Noble Hospital where Mohsin was declared dead on the night of June 2, 2014.