Safest in fact,” said Sadiq, who also has a married daughter. “Even in my wildest dreams I never thought that such an incident could happen in Pune.”
“My impression of Pune was that of a peaceful city where people — Hindus or Muslims — had no time to indulge in things like communal riots. In fact we felt insecure in Solapur because we have a considerable population of illiterate people. I had plans to shift to Pune with my family. What shocked me most is that why didn’t anyone help my son when he was being beaten to death.”
Mohsin stayed in a rented flat in Pune’s Hadapsar area. He shared the flat with two others and his brother Mobin. According to Mobin, on Monday night Mohsin had gone on a motorcycle to get food from a nearby mess with a flatmate Riyaz. “While returning, Mohsin was driving the bike while Riyaz was riding pillion. Suddenly, about 15 men came on motorcycles, shouting slogans. They were armed with hockey sticks and cricket bats. As soon as they saw Mohsin they stopped his bike and started beating him up. They didn’t touch Riyaz. Mohsin had a beard and was wearing a skull cap. Riyaz had none. Riyaz then called me up,” said Mobin.
Mohsin was the only man in the family who kept a beard. “He decided to grow beard only a few years ago. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t think it was something to worry about,” said Sadiq.
Mobin said when he reached the spot, Mohsin was lying on the road. “His head was bleeding profusely. I rushed to get a bike to take him to hospital. When I returned, a police van had arrived at the spot. We took him to the hospital where he later died,” he said. Mohsin’s funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon amid tight police protection.
- ATIKH RASHID