Narendra Dabholkar’s kin, others take out protest rally, seek arrest of ‘real’ killers

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Pune | Published: August 20, 2018 1:17:45 PM

Members of an outfit founded by slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar and his family members took out a protest rally in Maharashtra's Pune city today, demanding arrest of the "real perpetrators" of the crime.

Narendra Dabholkar, Narendra Dabholkar assasination, protest rally, anti-superstition activist, indiaAnti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar. (PTI)

Members of an outfit founded by slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar and his family members took out a protest rally in Maharashtra’s Pune city today, demanding arrest of the “real perpetrators” of the crime. Today is the fifth death anniversary of the rationalist, who was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. The family members of Dabholkar and slain rationalist Govind Pansare, theatre director Atul Pethe, actor Sonali Kulkarni, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Tushar Gandhi and several other art, culture and film personalities participated in the march.

The rally, led by members of Dabholkar’s Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, started from the Vitthal Ramji Shinde bridge, also known as the Omkareshwar bridge, where Dabholkar was shot dead in 2013, and culminated at the Sane Guruji Smarak. Dabholkar’s son Hamid Dabholkar, daughter Mukta Dabholkar and Govind Pansare’s daughter-in-law Megha Pansare participated in the rally. The protesters carried placards with messages demanding justice and arrest of the “real perpetrators” of the crime.

Veteran actor Amol Palekar and family members of Dabholkar, Pansare, and slain scholar M M Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh are expected to address the gathering during the day-long programme at the protest site. The Hindi translation of Dabholkar’s book ‘Bhram aur Niraas’ will also be released later today. Two days back, the Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested Sachin Andure, the alleged main shooter in the killing case of Dabholkar. Andure, a resident of Aurangabad, was nabbed from Pune late on Saturday evening, a CBI spokesperson had said. He was remanded yesterday in the CBI custody till August 26. The Bombay High Court had, in May 2014, handed over the Dabholkar murder case to the CBI.

Pansare was shot on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur. He died on February 20 at a hospital in Mumbai. The killing of Dabholkar and Pansare in a similar manner had sent shockwaves throughout the state. Later, noted scholar and rationalist M M Kalburgi was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence at Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad district of Karnataka on August 30, 2015. Besides, journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, known for her Left leaning and strong anti-Hindutva views, was shot dead in front of her house in Bengaluru on September 5 last year.

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