According to officials, Dabholkar was allegedly threatened by community members after he spoke out against such incidents in Nashik.
Other than these communities, Dabholkar had a running feud over the anti-superstition bill with socio-political strongmen who wield clout in influential religious sects.
“There is more to this [murder] than what meets the eye. The killers would know the immediate reaction [of the police] and the direction the primary investigation would take. They would definitely know that the police would immediately target right wingers, giving the real accused an opportunity to escape,” said a senior official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Another home department official said the police were probing all angles, including personal enmity. “Such crimes do throw surprises and we will have to wait till every angle gets probed,” said the official.