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Pawar links new govt to lynching

Sharad Pawar speaks at the NCP ceremony in Mumbai on Sunday. (PTI)

Mumbai, June 8: Sharad Pawar today blamed the Narendra Modi government’s rise to power for the increase in “communal turmoil” leading to last week’s lynching of a techie by a mob in Pune.

“After new govt took over, communal turmoil began to roll out in the society and the masses at grass root level have to face the brunt,” Pawar tweeted this evening.

“The atrocities against Dalit and minority sections have begun. The Pune based muslim engineer was brutally beaten to death.”

Pune police have arrested 17 members of the little-known Hindu Rashtra Sena in connection with the hockey stick attack on Mohsin Shaikh, 24.

The Maharashtra government, in which Pawar’s party NCP is a partner, has said it is examining a proposal to request the Centre to ban the Right-wing outfit.

“Certain social groups which were hiding are now openly coming out and are taking law into their hands which shouldn’t be allowed,” Pawar wrote.

The assault came at a time morphed pictures of Shivaji and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray on the social media had triggered tension. Shaikh was not connected to the social media posts.

Officers say a group of 20 to 25 Hindu Rashtra Sena members was roaming the Pune locality of Hadapsar on June 2 night on motorbikes. They allegedly beat up three people who sported beards.

Shaikh, who was one of the victims, died in hospital on June 3. The other two suffered minor injuries.

Pawar today rejected a party lobby’s call for him to be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections due later this year.

Addressing the cadre on the party’s 15th foundation day, Pawar said: “In the NCP, leadership is collective; so there’s no question of projecting a chief ministerial candidate…. After the elections, the chief ministerial candidate will be chosen with everyone’s consent.”