Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Sunday that the police have some clues in the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar,but are yet to close in on the assailants. He said considering the nature of the crime,it is more important to expose the masterminds than merely catch the assailants.
Addressing media persons in the city,Chavan said: There is progress in the investigation of Dabholkar murder. The police have some clues but havent found the assailants yet. A total of 19 teams have been formed to investigate the case,which is extremely serious. It is one of the most shocking incidents to happen in Maharashtra in recent times. The killers have tried to silence the voice of an independent thinker. Also,we cant rest by merely catching the killers,it is more important to get to the bottom of the conspiracy and arrest the masterminds.
The CM said he will travel to Satara to meet Dabholkars family members later in the day.
Asked if the Pune Police lacked efficiency as they havent cracked the case even five days later,while the Mumbai Police arrested all the suspects of Shakti Mills gangrape within three days,Chavan said the two cases are different. The Mumbai (gangrape) incident doesnt seem to be pre-planned,whereas Dabholkar murder was undertaken as part of a well-planned,pre-meditated conspiracy… the criminals were quite careful while executing the murder. The police are investigating the case and state ATS,IB are also assisting them, he said.
When asked if his comment on the day of the murder that Dabholkar killers were the same people who had killed Gandhi was made too early,without having any investigative evidence to back it,Chavan said that was a comment on the mindset of muzzling the non-confirming voice. I had used the word very carefully. I had said that the same kind of mindset was responsible for both murders, he said.
Talking about the need of improving the security in the wake of recent crimes,he said: Two to three days prior to the gangrape,I had called a meeting of all police chiefs in the state. It was also attended by the home minister and the deputy chief minister. Several important decisions were taken at this meeting. There is no doubt that there is a shortage of policemen in the state and we will have to increase their numbers. We also need to increase the number of women policemen,though Maharashtra fares better in this aspect than any other state. There is also a need to strengthen the surveillance system as well as increase gender sensitisation among policemen. We are taking efforts in this regard, he said.
Chavan also said activists who get threats should contact the police and they will be provided protection as per the existing laws.
There are two ways a person can get protection. Either if he/she approaches the police or the police assess the need of protection to certain individuals. If somebody is denied so despite the need,he/she can be provided the protection within the framework of the law, Maharashtra CM said.