The state was aware of the threat to veteran Communist leader and anti-toll tax campaigner Govind Pandharinath Pansare (84), who was shot at by bike-borne assailants two days ago, a public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the Bombay High Court Wednesday has claimed.
The PIL says the police should have prepared a threat perception report (TPR) and kept a vigil on his movements.
The PIL, filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, says the incident is a repeat of the fatal attack on rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and seeks a CBI probe. After Dabholkar’s murder too, Tirodkar had filed a PIL in HC asking for a CBI inquiry. The HC had then transferred the investigation to the CBI.
“There are many a similarities in both the cases, such as the timing of morning walk, use of motor-cycle, number of assailants being two; CCTV footage being unclear,” Tirodkar says in the petition.
The PIL claims both were under threats. “It was very much possible for the Special Branch of Police to have prepared a TPR and monitor the movements of Pansare, kept a vigil near his residence and monitored his cellphone records,” the PIL says.
Tirodkar alleges that one person who was arrested in connection with Dabholkar’s case and was let off later was currently being interrogated over attack on Pansare. The man, according to the PIL, is a conventional gun-runner from Satara and is in touch with police of all regions.
“In the Dabholkar assassination case, he helped the police to identify the buyer of the pistol that had similar features with the one used in the case,” the PIL claims.
The masked attackers, in both cases, had waited outside the homes of their targets, it says.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Wednesday that “investigators were yet to get credible leads” but the probe “was on the right track”. The CM said Pansare’s wife Uma, who was also injured in the attack, could provide information that could help investigators.
The CM too drew parallels between the recent attack on Pansare and on Dabholkar in August 2013, but said it would be premature to link the two incidents.
State’s minister of state (home) Ram Shinde said the police were probing eight to 10 angles behind the attack on Pansare.