The gruesome incident of hate crime reported in the city of Pune earlier this week is shocking for the civil society. A 28-year-old IT professional Shaikh Mohsin Sadiq was thrashed to death by a group of people suspected to be connected with a radical Hindu outfit called Hindu Rashtra Sena.
Mohsin was reportedly returning home after offering namaz at a mosque on Monday night when he found himself caught by the mob. As is the case in every hate crime, a skull cap on head and beard were enough for the killers to pounce on him with deadly intentions. The city was witnessing bandh and violent street protests by Shiv Sena, BJP and other radical Hindu organizations in the wake of Facebook post(s) with allegedly derogatory references to Shivaji and former Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray. The assailants were apparently involved in similar protests when they spotted Mohsin on Monday night in Bankar colony in Hadapsar area of Pune.
One cannot help seeing this incident vis-a-vis forthcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra. As a run-up to the elections which are due in a few months, an attempt to polarize the masses on communal lines with the sheer intention of electoral gains seems to be on the cards.
While offering our deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and friends of Mohsin, we extend our heartfelt solidarity to each and every member of minorities/disadvantaged communities in struggle to preserve the values of democracy, secularism and justice.
Neeraj Kholiya, Dhanesh Birajdar, Bharatbhooshan Tiwari,
Nitin Agarwal, Vinod Pillai
Vol. 46, No. 50, Jun 22 - 28, 2014