Hitesh Mulchandani Case: ‘No Communal Angle,’ Says DCP Pimpri
Hitesh Mulchandani was not burnt alive but stabbed several times after being abducted.
A set of images and CCTV footage have gone viral with the claim that they show 24-year-old Hitesh Mulchandani being allegedly burned to death after being kidnapped by Muslim men in Pune. The claim further says that Hitesh was kidnapped since he objected to a Muslim man urinating in public.
Several social media users have shared the images along with the video on Twitter and Facebook with the same narrative.
Some Twitter users have also claimed that it was a case of mob lynching.
The right-wing website OpIndia carried an article with the headline: ‘यहाँ पेशाब मत करो – इसी बात पर हितेश को जलाकर मार डाला: फिरोज, कुरैशी, शेख, लंगड़ा सहित 5 पर FIR’
(Translation: Do not urinate here: for this reason Hitesh was burnt alive: FIR filed against Firoz, Qureshi, Sheikh, Langda )
TRUE OR FALSE?
While the incident did take place, the claim with which it is being shared is false on several fronts. Hitesh was not burned alive but was stabbed multiple times. It had not been him, but a worker at Kunal Bar in Pimpri, a suburb in Pune, who had objected to a man urinating in public. Moreover, the incident was not communally charged as the men who had abducted Hitesh hailed from both the Hindu and the Muslim communities.
‘N0 COMMUNAL ANGLE’ : DCP PIMPRI
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Pimpri Sudhir Hiremath confirmed to The Quint that there is no communal angle to the entire incident. The six accused men comprise of three Hindus and three Muslims, he added. The incident took place on 23 July at 3:30 am outside the Kunal Bar located in Pimpri. Hiremath added that the bar was open even after the permeable limit of 1:30 am and that they are looking into the same as well.
A group of six men, which included two minors, drove to the bar at 3:30 am. One of the men stepped out of their vehicle and asked for a bottle of beer. Meanwhile, one of the minors started urinating outside the bar, which a bar worked spotted and objected to. Consequently, a brawl erupted between the two and the minor hit a beer bottle on the worker’s head.
Upon hearing about the fight, Kunal Bar’s owner Rohit Sukheja and his friend Hitesh Mulchandani, who had gone to the bar to visit his friend, came out and tried catching hold of the two men who were out of the vehicle. Hiremath added that the CCTV footage shows Hitesh catching hold of one of the men.
The remaining four men caught hold of Hitesh and forced him into their vehicle. While on the other hand, Sukheja and bar workers were able to catch the minor.
“Hitesh, after being abducted, was stabbed several times by the four men. A series of negotiations happened between Sukheja and the four men to exchange the minor and Hitesh for one another. Finally, at 6 am, when the men switched off their phone, Sukheja approached Pimpri police station and filed an FIR.”Sudhir Hiremath, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Pimpri
The Quint got hold of the FIR copy filed by Sukheja, through KL Pawar, SHO of Pimpri police station, who said that Hitesh’s remains were found on the backside of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.
Pawar told The Quint that though the FIR mentions five people, during the investigation they found that six men namely Akshay Sanjay Bhosle, Yogesh Tompe, Amin Khan, Shahbaz Siraz Qureshi, Arbaaz Sheikh, and Ajay Sawant were involved.
“The accused were booked under Sections 302, 201, 326, 364, 504 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, out of which five have been arrested. Amin Khan is yet to be arrested. People are spreading false claims that Hitesh was burnt, rather he was stabbed. Some are also saying that it’s an incident of mob lynching but that’s also false.”
The Quint reached out to Sukheja for a response but he refused to comment.
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