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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Dabholkar murder: Two months, no breakthrough

IANS  Pune, October 20, 2013
First Published: 14:42 IST(20/10/2013) | Last Updated: 14:43 IST(20/10/2013)

Two months have passed and the police are still clueless about the killers of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead two months ago during his morning walk in Pune on August 20.

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Dabholkar was instrumental in pushing the state government to frame an anti-superstition law which was finally approved and passed as an ordinance a day after his murder. 

The new law seeks to eradicate black magic, blind faith, superstitious beliefs, rituals and sacrifices to drive out evil spirits or ensure a male progeny - perpetrated by self-styled godmen and witchcraft and wizardry practitioners His murder had created a nationwide furore.

Maharastra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced a reward of Rs10 lakh for the one who informs about the killers. Soon after the incident, Maharashtra home minister RR Patil vowed that the killers would be nabbed at the earliest.  But, still there has been no breakthrough.

Thousands of Pune residents will take out a peace march in the city on Sunday afternoon demanding immediate police action to nab Dabholkar's killers.

Soon after the murder, the Pune police released sketches of a couple of suspects and questioned dozens of people but are yet to make any significant breakthrough in their investigations.

Of the four bullets fired, two hit Dabholkar in the neck and back. He succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards at the government-run Sassoon Hospital.

Dabholkar's funeral was attended by top dignitaries including Chavan, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, RR Patil and senior officials. Dabholkar had reportedly been even receiving threats. His son Hamid said he refused to register a complaint about the threats, saying he needed no weapons in his cause.

In 1989, he founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) with a few like-minded people and raised his voice against superstition, irrational practices, blind faith and beliefs. He confronted dubious tantriks, babas and buas - people who claimed to have supernatural powers and preyed on gullible people.


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