Senior CPI leader Govind Pansare, wife shot at by assailants

He was also known to make statements and speeches against right-wing groups.

By: Express News Service Written by Chandan Shantaram Haygunde, Sushant Kulkarni | Kolhapur | Updated: February 17, 2015 12:42:34 pm
Govind Pansare, Kolhapur, Pansare shot, Pansare attack, CPI Govind Pansare, Communist Party of India Communist Party of India supporters stop the car of Maharashtra Home Minister Ram Shinde during a protest to condemn the attack on veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra on Monday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Motorcycle-borne assailants shot at veteran Communist leader and anti-toll tax campaigner Govind Pandharinath Pansare (84) alias Anna and his wife Uma (70) near their residence at Ideal Society in Kolhapur on Monday, when they were returning home from a morning walk.
The two have been admitted to Aster Aadhar Hospital and their condition has improved after surgeries, but was still critical.

The incident happened at around 9 am. Police investigation has so far revealed that assailants were masked and came on a motorcycle. They reportedly fired four bullets at Pansare and his wife, and then fled from the spot.

 

The police suspect that assailants kept a close watch on Pansare’s movements and had carefully planned their attack him. An attempt to murder case has been lodged at the Rajarampuri police station.

The incident shook the socio-political circles in the state. Activists drew parallel between the attack on Pansare with the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar.

Two motorcycle borne youths had shot dead Dabholkar while he was on a morning walk on the bridge near Omkareshwar temple in Pune in the morning hours on August 20, 2013. The police have not been able to make a breakthrough in the murder case.

The Left parties have demanded detail investigation into this attack. Raghunath Kamble, general secretary of CPI’s  Kolhapur unit, said Pansare had received threats several times in the past.

Kamble said that a few months ago Pansare got anonymous threat letters from Pune, saying “Tumcha Dabholkar Karu (you would also be killed like Dabholkar”.  “Anna used to ignore such threats and continued with his work.”

Some activists claimed they have noticed suspicious persons who were not a part of their movement, but were regularly attending Pansare’s functions.

Pansare has taken a lead in the anti-toll campaign in Kolhapur and is a member of Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee. He was also known to make statements and speeches against right-wing groups, and involved in labour movement and student groups.

Retired Justice B G Kolse Patil said: “In the last week of December 2014, a function was organised in Kolhapur where there was discussion on the book Who killed Karkare?. Pansare had received a threat for organising the programme.” The book written by retired police officer S M Mushrif raises doubts on death of former ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s killing during the 26/11 attacks. Musrif suspects Karkare was killed by Indian agencies because he arrested Hindus in connection with Malegaon blast 2008.

A CPI activist also said that Pansare was opposed when he delivered a speech recently against Nathuram Godse at Shivaji University in Kolhapur. The police were thus probing different angles, including whether his speech or movement against opposite ideologies have anything to do with the attack.

A team of Pune police crime branch too reached Kolhapur for finding common links between Dabholkar murder and attack on Pansare.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Hameed Dabholkar, son of Narendra Dabholkar, said: “If the agencies had arrested the killers of my father, may be these criminals would not have dared to conduct one more such attack. We believe that same forces are behind this attack too.”

IG (Kolhaour range) Ritesh Kumar said: “As of now no eyewitnesses have come forward, but we checking the footages from the various security cameras in the surrounding areas.” When asked whether Pansare had received any threats to life, he said, “We are not aware of that.”

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