Mumbai, Oct. 17: Thane police have been accused of kowtowing to Shiv Sainiks when they raged outside a bank executive’s home on Tuesday over a supposedly derogatory Facebook post against their party and its deceased leader.
Less than a year earlier, the district police had arrested two young women over a Facebook post on the shutdown in Mumbai during Bal Thackeray’s funeral, earning a rap from the courts.
Unlike last November’s incident, a partially chastened police have not jumped in to arrest Dinesh Pathak. The bank employee, who denies authoring the post and says his account had been hacked into, surrendered to the police on Wednesday.
However, the cops have not taken any action against the Sena mob, either, whom they are accused of humouring instead of quelling on Tuesday. The police have chosen to “approach the incident with caution”, a senior Thane officer told The Telegraph today.
On Tuesday, at least 100 Shiv Sainiks had travelled 60km by bus from their Mumbai bastion of Dadar to Kalyan, where Pathak lives. Local Sena cadres had already begun gathering outside the Madhav Sankalp Housing Society.
When Pathak got wind of the brewing trouble, he quietly left home. Later, as nearly 400 Sainiks tried to barge into the complex, the cops stepped in.
“Far from arresting the Sena men for barging in, poised to vandalise our housing society, the police pleaded with their leaders not to resort to violence,” a resident of the complex said.
“Finally, the cops escorted the Kalyan mayor (a Sena leader) and some women Sena cadres into the compound. They went from apartment to apartment, searching for Pathak and his family.”
The Sena’s Thane district president, Eknath Shinde, said he had filed complaints about the Facebook post with Thane’s Waghle Estate police and the cyber crime cell in Mumbai on Tuesday morning.
Soon, Sena cadres tracked a man who had allegedly “liked” one of the posts, abducted him from Dadar and brought him to Pathak’s home to corner him with “proof”, the police alleged while refusing to give the victim’s name.
“We didn’t abduct anyone,” Shinde said. “We tried to enter the Kalyan complex but the police stopped us.”