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Noted Ambedkarite thinker Dr Krishna Kirwale was found murdered at his house in western Maharashtra’s Kolhapur city today. Police said his body was found with multiple stab wounds at his Rajendranagar residence. Kirwale (62), was the retired head of the Marathi department of Kolhapur’s Shivaji University. Meanwhile, one person has been detained in connection with the murder, police said, adding that an unidentified person hurled stones at the suspect’s house. Among Kirwale’s major contributions was a ‘Dictionary of Dalit and Gramin (Rural) Literatures’, a project undertaken under the aegis of the state government. Among his other books was a biography of pioneering Dalit litterateur, Baburao Bagul.
Kirwale also lectured widely on issues in Ambedkarite literature in particular, and Marathi literature in general.
Police officers didn’t comment on possible motive behind the brutal murder.
Kirawale was also the head of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Centre for Research and Development of the varsity before he retired two years ago.
In 2015, communist leader Govind Pansare, 81, and his wife Uma were shot at with 7.65-mm country-made pistols in Kolhapur. Pansare died later in Mumbai.
In 2013, rationalist Narendra Dabholkar (69) was shot dead in Pune by the motorcycle-borne assailants who had pumped four bullets into him, again from a 7.65-mm country-made pistol.
Condemning Kirwale’s killing, the leader of opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde said the incident shows the collapse of law and order situation in Maharashtra.
“This killing is serious as Kirwale was working in Dabholkar’s movement as well,” he said.
Union minister Ramdas Athawale said the government should order a probe into Kirwale’s murder and punish the guilty.