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Techie murder arrest

Mumbai, June 11: Hindu Rashtra Sena founder Dhananjay Desai has been arrested for the murder of 24-year-old Mohsin Shaikh, who was beaten to death in Pune in a suspected hate crime.

Desai, 34, who had been in jail in connection with other cases, was questioned last evening and formally arrested over the fatal attack on Mohsin by suspects linked to the fringe group. The total number of arrests has gone up to 21, the police said.

“All accused in the Mohsin case are members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena. They could not have acted without his knowledge,” a senior officer said. Police sources said Desai has been booked under Section 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

Mohsin was beaten with hockey sticks as he was returning home on the night of June 2. He died the next day.

Although police remained tight-lipped about the evidence against Desai, the sources said they were relying on the sequence of events to make their case. On June 1, alleged Rashtra Sena workers had staged violent protests, blocking the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and vandalising buses against morphed derogatory pictures of Shivaji uploaded on Facebook and circulated through WhatsApp.

On June 2, a group of suspected Rashtra Sena workers went on motorcycles and attacked two youths before picking on Mohsin. The techie had nothing to do with the posts and is suspected to have been attacked because he had a beard.

Desai had been in judicial custody at Pune’s Yerwada Jail over provocative pamphlets, inflammatory speeches and vandalism. He was taken out around 5pm yesterday, handed over to the Pune crime branch for questioning over Mohsin’s murder and arrested in this case. A local court today remanded him in police custody for a day.