With a breakthrough in the Dr Narendra Dabholkar's murder case proving elusive, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan changed track on Sunday, saying naming right-wing organisations was mere speculation.
The August 20 murder of Dabholkar had been put down to a right-wing conspiracy, with the police interrogating several organisations that had been opposed to the anti-superstition bill he had been working for.
While the lack of breakthrough does not let the right-wing elements off the hook, the chief minister's statements made it clear that the authorities are now stepping cautiously.
"Currently, the investigation is based on different theories," Chavan said in Pune on Sunday.
Police say one of the reasons they have not been successful in cracking the case yet is the "ambit" of Dabholkar's social reach.
"Every day, Dabholkar used to visit different towns in Maharashtra as a part of his anti-superstition campaign. In the process, many people with vested interests have been hurt," said joint commissioner of police Sanjeev Kumar Singhal. Now the police are trying to reach those "hurt" elements.
The hazy CCTV footage of the assailants has been of no help. "Whenever we try and zoom in, the image breaks," said an officer.