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Trend of killing all opposition dangerous: Bombay HC on Gauri Lankesh

“Will more people be targeted? There is no respect for liberal values and opinions," the Bombay High Court observed.

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | Mumbai | Updated: October 13, 2017 7:19 am
 Gauri Lanesh murder, Dissent, Opposition voices, Gauri Lankesh, Bengaluru journalist murder, Bombay HC, Bombay HC on Opposition dissent, India news, Indian Express Bombay High Court (File Photo)

Referring to the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru last month, the Bombay High Court said on Thursday that the “trend of killing all opposition is dangerous” and is bringing disrepute to the country. It added that “there is no respect for liberal values and opinions”.

The division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Vibha Kankanvadi was hearing petitions filed by relatives of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, urging the court to monitor the probes into their deaths.

“Will more people be targeted? There is no respect for liberal values and opinions. People are increasingly being targeted for their liberal principles… Not just thinkers, but any person or organisation that believes in liberal principles can be targeted. It’s like if there is some opposition to me, I must have that person eliminated,” said Justice Dharmadhikari.

“This trend of killing all opposition is dangerous. This is giving a bad reputation to the country,” the bench said.

Dabholkar was shot in Pune on August 20, 2013. While Pansare was attacked in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015, he died four days later. The CBI and Maharashtra CID submitted their inquiry reports in the Dabholkar and Pansare cases respectively.

“While your efforts are genuine, the fact remains that the prime accused are still absconding,” said the court. “Between every adjournment, more precious lives seem to be lost… (a) like-minded person has been killed in Bangalore,” it added.

Lankesh was shot by unknown assailants outside her home in Bengaluru on September 5.

The bench asked what would guarantee that more people would not be targeted for their beliefs and principles in the future. “If the accused persons and organisations are feeling emboldened, then the probe agencies should take that as a challenge,” it said.

The court asked the investigating agencies to look at changing their line of investigation, and make use of technology to catch the killers. “They have organisational backing, funding, technological support, and arms at their disposal,” it said.

Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, the two men identified by the CBI as Dabholkar’s attackers, are yet to be nabbed.

The bench, however, dismissed the apprehensions of Abhay Nevagi, counsel for Dabholkar and Pansare’s families, that the agencies were not probing the role of Sanatan Sanstha. “While the court can’t make details of the probe public, we can say this much that the probe reports have examined all angles. They have not ignored the possibility of the role of Sanatan Sanstha in the case,” said Justice Dharamadhikari.

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  1. D
    Deeply Concerned
    Oct 18, 2017 at 8:00 am
    The main elements involved in this criminal activities and their contacts have to be eliminated.
    1. N
      Oct 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm
      Good observation by HC ... 550 cpim workers killed by rss till date... retaliation strick killed 125 rss workers by cpim... in 70 yrs in Kerala...the lose is only for the depending family members....murderers r a cancer to the society....still I believe that in UP, where 100s gets killed everyday UP CM shouldn't come and speck that Kerala should follow UP...I pity those who follow the Babas blindly... qualities of yogis has to be, he or she should not be power hunger, should not promote violence, should not lie, should promote enimity btw humans... sad to see that UP yogi is behaving like a dogi... and even more worse is that people follow him ...even though there r examples of Asaram , ram Rahim etc...hope the voice of Sri Sriji, Sadguru etc r more heard to save Hinduism...
      1. S
        Oct 14, 2017 at 10:27 am
        The court's advice is coming a bit too late. The judges should have said this when Gauri Lankesh was attacking liberal RSS workers viciously and was praising the left-goons' killing of RSS workers as 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. At least a few RSS workers' lives could have been saved.
        1. B
          b b
          Oct 14, 2017 at 8:51 am
          Thanks High Court Mumbai, first time in history of India any ins ution recognises this as “apposition” otherwise this forces used to be called a true seculars. Thanks also for not jumping into conclusion that only right wing elements could have killed “apposition” like NEWS TRADERS like ndtv, Indian Express and thousand others. Thanks once again for not saying Karyakartas in Kerala “apposition” who were killed in great numbers by CPI Islamists goons. Hindus are gradually realising that abusing Nation, Hindus are not secularism but an “apposition”.
          1. V
            Oct 13, 2017 at 10:09 pm
            The comment “there is no respect for liberal values and opinions” is funny. Previously, there was no respect for Hindu values. Now that the self proclaimed secularists and rationalists have now been discovered to run evangelists and anti national agenda, more people are now aware and proud of their Hindu iden y. This is a big problem in "secular"
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