Justice for Mohsin Demand Storms Twitter on Sixth Anniversary of First Mob Killing

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Mohd Aasif | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – A storm with #JustForMohsin swept Twitter on Tuesday demanding justice for the victim of hate crime. Mohsin Shaikh, a techie, was murdered on this day (June 2) six years ago in Pune, Maharashtra. He was the first victim of the mob lynching in the country.

Mohsin was killed by a mob reportedly instigated by Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai.

Prior to the fateful day, there was communal tension in the area over some derogatory photographs of Shivaji and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray uploaded on social media. Some people were arrested for vandalising public transport buses. The uploads were made through foreign proxy servers traced to sources in India.

The then Home Minister R R Patil said authorities knew the identity of those who uploaded the offensive images. But Mohsin turned out to be an unassuming victim who paid a price with his life. It has been six years now, but the family is still struggling for justice.

Expressing his disappointment, MLA and President Samajwadi Party Maharashtra Abu Asim wrote on his twitter handle, “Mohsin Shaikh’s lynching case is an incisive example of travesty of justice & getting a justice in other similar cases is only a distant dream now. An atmosphere is being created where such a culture of hate crimes is being propagated.”

Socio-Political Activist Khalida Parveen, in her tweet, wondered, “What was his [Mohsin’s] crime? Why was he lynched? Just bcoz he is a #Muslim youth. He #prays, he had a #beard, he wore #kurtaPaijama, he is #poor. He has no #politicalbackground. If these are #crimes more than 50% of the population in #India are #criminals.”

After BJP’s accession to power, the country witnessed a wave of hate crimes. Mohsin was the first to take the brunt. It is believed that minorities have been victims of their identities. Assistant Professor Abdul Hafiz Gandhi said that Mohsin was lynched because of his religious identity.

Activists and politicians assert that everyone in this country is equal and should be treated as such. “This country belongs to all. Everybody has equal rights to exist and develop. People cannot be lynched to death because they belong to a particular community”, said Abul Hafiz Gandhi.

Sadiq Shaikh, late father of the deceased, had commented on his son’s death, “Today, mob butchered my son, tomorrow it will be someone else’s. Killings by marching crowds with the flags of faith has to be stopped.”

In March 2015, the Bombay high court denied bail to Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai maintaining that the prosecution had rightly submitted that Desai had taken advantage of poverty and unemployment in the society and instigated such to satisfy his religious fanatic vendetta against a community.

The judge noted most of the rioters were young men, one of them just 18. The high court maintained that the statement of the witnesses showing that a plan had been hatched to attack members of a community as directed by Desai was sufficient to deny bail.

The hashtag Justice for Mohsin remained trending on twitter with more than eighty thousand tweets.

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