Tension in Pune after Hindu teenager burnt alive, police denies communal link behind murder


In a shocking revelation, it has emerged that the Pune teenager, who died last week was burnt after he said he was a Hindu.

17-year-old Sawan Rathod reportedly recorded his last words on video before succumbing to his injuries.

“I was working with my family in Pandhapur. I had a dispute with them and came to Pune looking for work…While I was taking a leak, three persons objected and asked me my name. I said Sawan Rathod. They asked me if I am Hindu? I said, yes. Then they poured something over me from a can and set me on fire,” is what Rathod said before he succumbed to burn injuries, The Indian Express quoted his statement.

Unable to speak because of unimaginable injuries Sawan only manages to shake his head in the affirmative in the video when asked if he was burnt because of being a Hindu.

According to the IE report, some right wing groups claimed that the manner in which Sawan Rathod was killed was typical of Islamic State militants demanding it to be investigated by an anti-terror squad.

Three suspects – Imran and Zuber Tamboli, and Ibrahim Sheikh – have been sent to judicial custody till 25 January.

Advocate Ramesh Rathod, of Banjara Kranti Dal claims he recorded the video.

He said, “When we went to the hospital on Thursday evening… Sawan’s situation was bad. So we asked police to record his statement before he dies. But the cops refused, saying he himself was the complainant. So I recorded his dying declaration on my cellphone in the presence of his father and other activists. He did not mention anything about theft. Maybe, police fear that revealing the facts would create communal tensions.”

However, the DCP Tushar Doshi said hat his force had not found any communal links behind this incident.

He said, “After nabbing Sawan, the assailants questioned him for battery theft for a few hours. We confirmed at least two spots where they took Savan, suspecting he had sold stolen batteries here. Then they forcibly made him drink petrol and set him on fire… Sawan Rathod’s video at the hospital could be an afterthought as he did not mention anything of a communal nature when FIR was lodged.”


  1. This is a deliberate attempt at communalising the issue in pune , largely peaceful city , by the right wing Hindu fanatics which are in abundance. Maharashtra is the birth place of the evil RSS and shiv sena sealots. There is a deliberate ploy to stoke communal passions and make fight between peacefully co-existing dalits and muslims. Its time for pune police to be extremely vigilant.