Maharashtra’s leading anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants in Pune on Tuesday morning. Dabholkar was on a morning walk on the Omkareshwar Bridge near the Balgandharva Rangamandir when he was attacked. He was 68.
As per primary information received by the police from an eye-witness,two men alighted from a black motorbike,followed him and fired two rounds at him. After firing,they fled from the spot.
Dabholkar’s body was identified by Manohar Patil,one of the activists who stayed at the Sadhana media center. His body was taken to Sassoon Hospital for post-mortem and would be taken to Satara for the final rites.
Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol,who reached the spot soon after the incident,said the police are probing all angles. He announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information regarding the incident.
Two cheques were found from Dabholkar’s pockets,one of which was in the name of MANS,the organisation he set up in 1989. Also,a bus ticket for Satara was recovered from his pocket.
He had come to Pune for some work and was supposed to return to his home town in Satara later on Tuesday.
Dabholkar’s killing comes at a time when the Maharashtra government had promised the introduction of the Anti-superstition Bill in the state legislature. The bill has evoked stiff opposition from various right wing elements,who claim it was an infringement on their fundamental rights. Dabholkar has been campaigning for the bill for the last three-four years.