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17 held for beating Pune techie to death


Pune, June 5 :

As many as 17 youth linked to a rightist group have been arrested in connection with the lynching of a 27-year old techie after certain derogatory Facebook posts surfaced last week, police officials said here Thursday.

Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, hailing from Solapur, was attacked with hockey sticks and rods near Hadapsar and beaten to death by suspected activists of a Mumbai-based Hindu Rashtra Sena late Monday night while he was returning home from work.

The attack was apparently triggered after certain insulting posts on Facebook surfaced on Chhatrapati Shivaji, Chhatrapati Sambhaji and Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray.

The Facebook posts had resulted in violence in several parts of the state, including Pune and Mumbai last week and culminated in the lynching of Shaikh near his residence in Bankar Colony in the state’s cultural and academic capital.

Shaikh, working as an IT manager with Ujjwala Enterprises in Swargate area of Pune, was the sole breadwinner for his middle-class family. His family members who have demanded justice from the government.

Police in Pune and Mumbai registered cases against unknown persons in connection with the Facebook posts. While 13 people were arrested till Tuesday, another four were nabbed late Wednesday for their involvement in the incident and the police believe at least three more could be absconding.

Shaikh’s killing also triggered waves of protests on various social networking sites, while the Congress also condemned the killing.

Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur said that they are contemplating invoking the stringent Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Acts (MPDA) as some of those nabbed have criminal records with other cases registered against them.

The accused have been already slapped with charges of murder, attempt to murder, rioting and other sections of Indian Penal Code for Shaikh’s brutal killing.