Published on: Jun 02, 2019
Written By: Parth MN
On 2 June, 2014, 24-year-old Mohsin Shaikh was murdered, allegedly by members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena. It has been five years, but the family of the Pune techie has still not received justice. Those accused in his murder are out on bail and the family say the promises made to them by the authorities remain unfulfilled.
Frustrated by the system, Mohsin’s younger brother Mubin and his colleagues have planned a silent protest march in Solapur (from where they originally hail). “We have our banners ready,” said Mubin in a telephonic interview. “For two years, the government has not even named the public prosecutor after Ujjwal Nikam recused himself. The case is languishing.”
Mohsin, grandson of a postman, had just cleared the second round of interviews at Wipro before being murdered. Mohsin and his roommate were returning home from namaaz. At the time, morphed pictures of Shivaji Maharaj and Bal Thackeray had gone viral on Facebook. Outraged, members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena allegedly went on a rampage, vandalising cars and buses. A few of them allegedly cornered Mohsin and thrashed him with hockey sticks. For an hour, no bystanders intervened or helped the bloodied Mohsin. His roommate called Mubin, who took Mohsin to the hospital. Mohsin was declared dead the same night.
The incident occurred within a week of Narendra Modi’s first term as prime minister. Mohsin was the first victim of mob lynching under the new government. Two years before his death, Mohsin’s father had to shut down the Xerox shop he started in 1985. Mohsin was well aware of the family problems. Once he settled in Pune, Mubin joined him. “Along with Mohsin, I started working in marketing in Pune,” said Mubin. “We sent one salary back home, and the other we used for our expenses in Pune. For the first time in a few years, it seemed like the family was stable.”
When the Minority Commission from the Centre met Mohsin’s father in August 2014, it asked him his demands and vowed to fulfill them. “I asked for a fast track court to ensure justice within a year, and a government job for my younger son, Mubin... Rs 50 lakh as compensation, and a ban on Hindu Rashtra Sena," Sadiq told Firstpost in July 2018, adding that he has had to seek financial assistance from two of his friends. "I have spent more than Rs 50,000 pursuing the case."
Mohsin Shaikh's parents with his brother Mubin in July 2018. Firstpost/Parth MN
In December 2018, Sadiq, a diabetic, passed away.
None of those demands have been fulfilled. Mubin said a few weeks after promising him a job, the family received a letter backtracking on the promise. “It said we cannot give you a job because there is no Government Resolution in that regard,” said Mubin. “My father would constantly run from pillar to post to seek justice, and follow up on the promises made to us. My biggest regret is he could not see Mohsin get justice.”
Mubin said his father would talk about Mohsin and the case all the time. “He was keen to see that through,” he said. “It would have been a closure for him. But the case did take a toll on his health. My mother was depressed. Now, she is even lonelier.”
After Mohsin’s death, Mubin quit his job in Pune, and shifted back to Solapur to be with the family. “Since the government did not give me any job, my hunt continues,” said Mubin. “I worked as a sales executive at a private dealership. But it shut down. There are not many opportunities in Solapur. But I will stay here because I cannot leave my family now, and my mother gets scared if I talk about going back to Pune.”
Having grown up in a colony in Solapur where only two of 34 households were Muslims, Sadiq earlier said they never thought it would come to this. “I never felt marginalised,” he'd remarked. “This is my country. I will never let myself believe that I am a second-class citizen of India."
The only time the family has had a semblance of happiness in the past five years was when Mubin got married and had a daughter. But that too proved to be short-lived. Within three days of her birth, the infant passed away. “We lost three members of the family in five years,” said Mubin. “We are struggling to make our ends meet. On the other hand, my brother’s killers are out on bail. They were welcomed with resounding applause, and paraded in Pune after they were released. I do not have much hope of getting justice.”