Narendra Dabholkar's kin take out protest rally, seek arrest of 'real' killers of anti-superstition activist

Pune: 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 on Monday, demanding arrest of the "real perpetrators" of the crime. It is the fifth death anniversary on Monday of the rationalist, who was shot dead in Pune on 20 August, 2013.

A file photo of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar. PTI

A file photo of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar. PTI

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 MM 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 on Monday.

On Saturday, 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 26 August. The Bombay High Court had, in May 2014, handed over the Dabholkar murder case to the CBI.

Pansare was shot on 16 February 2015 in Kolhapur. He died on 20 February 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 MM Kalburgi was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence at Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad district of Karnataka on 30 August, 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 5 September 2017.

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Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 12:57:15 IST

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