Pune, January 17, 2016
Why didn’t police apply stronger communal violence related charges against the culprits in Sawan Rathore case? Reports suggest that this was communal violence incident that was presented as simple law and order issue by Pune Police. In fact, the shocking reality is that police arrested second and third culprit only after the boy’s death as per most of the case details available in public domain.
Ibrahim Mehboob Shaikh, Zuber Tamboli (26), and his brother Imran Tamboli (28) forced 16-year-old Sawan Dharma Rathore to drink petrol and set him on fire. The victim passed away on January 15th while under treatment at Pune’s Sasoon hospital. According to Indian Express’s report, Zuber Tamboli has several cases, including half murder case registered against him.
Any journalist who has extensively worked on crime stories can point out that police gave several incorrect reports and made contradicting statements about the incident to various news channels and newspapers. Finally, the truth has come out in the form of small video clip that contains victim’s video statement recorded before his death.
Certain local newspapers showed courage to publish the truth, while the “elite’s choice” published it as an incident that happened because of small misconception on page-5 (no points even if you guess that paper’s name without clicking the link).
Story published in Saamana newspaper suggests that Pune based social activist had used Sawan’s mobile phone to record his video statement while he was under treatment at Sasoon hospital on Thursday.
Here are some excerpts from Saamana’s story-
“We were working in Pandharpur on one project. I came to Pune from Pandharpur because of a tiff with my father. I was looking for work in Pune. On Wednesday, these three men approached me while I was urinating. They asked my name, and then asked if I was Hindu. When I said yes, they poured some liquid on me and burned me”- said the victim while replying to social activist team’s questions.
“Did they burn you because you are Hindu?” asked one of the activists, and Sawan again replied-yes. The concerned video’s duration is said to be 1:19 seconds. Three accused would remain in police custody till January 21st as per court’s order.
Pune police showed swiftness while arresting all the suspects involved in Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh case. The concerned individual was allegedly murdered by Hindu Rashtra Sena activist. Case was termed as communal violence incident. They applied MCOCA on Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) chief Dhananjay Desai along with 20 others. In Sawan’s case, police even failed to apply murder charge in the case after victim’s death. They did it only after Sawan’s lawyer relative urged the police to do so.
(Image supplied to CJ-24 by social activist who recorded his dying declaration)
The incident took place in BJP Minister, Pune Guardian minister Girish Bapat’s constituency. Journal 24’s emails sent to Girish Bapat and city’s BJP MP Anil Shirole remained unanswered while writing this report.
Report published in yesterday’s Saamana
News groups discriminate while reporting crime stories
Pune based social activist and Shiv Sena leader Milind Ekbote interacted with journalist from Cyber Journal24 yesterday. He pointed out that this communal violence case did not get more of coverage because the victim was Hindu.
“Three Muslim men burned 16 year old boy alive after confirming that he is Hindu. No news channel would organize debate; no one would organize road shows/protests to get justice for the victim. No one would return their awards. Terrorists get red carpet treatment; on the other hand, phone calls of Hindu welfare activists like me are monitored. Hindu welfare activists are referred as fringe elements by so-called elite journalists who write while sitting in their AC cabins. This is the society that our tolerance has created” said Mr. Ekbote who is also the head of Samasta Hindu Aghadi. Activist has assured that he and his lawyers would track this case and make sure that the victim gets justice.
NIA probe necessary to dig out truth?
Are suspects following some ideology? Did they watch ISIS videos showing IS-fighters burning people alive? Do they have any criminal background? Why did police give incorrect information to journalists? (This is not the only case; here is another recent one from Pune police). Why did cops try to follow WB government’s step and tried to whitewash communal violence against Hindu boy by tagging it as law and order issue? Did police arrest family members of three suspects and probe their background, their passport, visa to check if they had traveled to terror hubs that brainwash young minds?
News reports clearly show how crime spurt has forced people to tweak their lifestyle in Pune. In fact, it has been observed that cops from Pune had threatened victims of crime and forced them to go back without registering cases in order to keep crime rate low on paper.
In such scenario, won’t it be best if an external agency is brought in to probe this case without any bias?
What can you do to make sure that the victim gets justice?
Even if you are not legal expert, you can simply write email or letter to the following individuals demanding NIA probe in the case-
- Ranjeet Patil
Minister of State, Maharashtra
Departments: Minister of State for Home (Urban), Urban Development, General Administration, Law & Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Maharashtra
5th Floor, 540, Extension Building,
Dr. Madam Cama Road,
Office Ph: 022-22875930, 22876342
- Shri K. P. Bakshi, IAS
Additional Chief Secretary, Home
Email ID: email@example.com
- Shri Devendra Fadnavis
Chief Minister, Maharashtra
Chief Minister, Home Affairs, General Administration, Urban Development, Law & Judiciary, Ports, Tourism, Information and Public Relations, Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare, Employment & Self-employment
6th Floor, Main Building,
Dr. Madam Cama Road,
Office Ph:022-22025151, 22025222,22793340, Fax: 22029294
Nitten is a consultant journalist, and has worked with renowned newspapers, news agency in India. If you are looking for desktop journalist, you can email Nitten- firstname.lastname@example.org
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