Inflammatory Fb posts stir up communal tension

Prateek Goyal
Tuesday, 26 December 2017

‘Those behind this act will be dealt with a heavy hand’

Pune: Inflammatory posts against the minority community are being posted on the profile which is being operated by the name of Hindu Ekta Pimpri Chinchwad on their Facebook page. These posts are also being circulated on social media. Interestingly, this page has used a cover picture of Bajrang Dal, Pimpri Chinchwad Prakhand with the mono of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.

This is going on without any fear of action from law and enforcement agencies despite the fact that the city witnessed the murder of Mohsin Sheikh and the communal disturbance that ensued due to inflammatory posts on social media in 2014. 

Some of these posts date back to September 2016 and the recent one was posted last week. These posts make derogatory remarks against members of a minority community and are making appeals to assemble for retaliation against the community. Another organisation, Hindu Rashtra Sena has also pledged its support to the inflammatory posts.

Vivek Kulkarni, Pradesh Sahamantri of Bajrang Dal, Western Maharashtra, told Sakal Times that they do not have any affiliation with Hindu Ekta. 

Akash Kakade, a member of Hindu Rashtra Sena and accused in Mohsin Sheikh Murder at Bankar Colony in 2014, has made objectionable remarks. Considering these comments, it seems that Kakade after coming out on bail is still indulging in hate comments. He has posted a picture of Desai and said that Bhai (Dhananjay Desai) is required to teach a lesson to them. When Sakal Times contacted Kakade, he, however, said that his account was hacked.

Kakade, who was arrested in Mohsin Sheikh murder case, was among the 18 members of Hindu Rashtra Sena who were released on bail.  A social activist based in Nigdi, on  condition of anonymity, said that a right wing group is trying to create tension in Otta Scheme - Rupi Nagar area of Nigdi and he has repeatedly approached Nigdi police station in this regard. 

In July, a rally was organised by a right wing group with derogatory slogans against a minority community. In August, a few autorickshaw drivers from a minority community were asked to leave an auto stand. In September, inflammatory posts were shared on Facebook. A month later derogatory slogans were called out aloud outside Rupi Nagar mosque at the time of prayers.

The activist, requesting anonymity, said, “At least six times I went to Nigdi police station with an application regarding inflammatory posts and met Police Inspector Shankar Avtare. He did not take my application, but just said he will take care of things.”

A copy of the application made to Nigdi police is available with Sakal Times.

When contacted, Police Inspector Shankar Avtare, Nigdi police station, said, “I would have taken action against those who are posting inflammatory messages or trying to create communal tension, but till now no one has approached me in this regard.”

It is significant to note that on December 20, two groups belonging to different communities clashed in Nigdi after a poster of a right wing group was removed by PCMC officials.
When contacted, Kunal Sathe, Coordinator of Bajrang Dal in Pimpri Chinchwad regarding the inflammatory Facebook posts of Hindu Ekta, said, “I don’t know who is operating using the name of Bajrang Dal but we don’t have any involvement in its operation.”

Ravindra Kadam, Joint Commissioner, Pune police, said, “Some members of a minority community have complained to me regarding this issue. We are going to examine every aspect of it and will take action against the culprits.”

Police chief assures action
Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner of Pune Police, when contacted about inflammatory posts on social media, said, “Whoever is spreading such messages on social media will be dealt with strictly. We will take appropriate actions against such people.” 

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