At a protest march in Pune following the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, citizens on Wednesday heckled politicians and refused to let them make speeches.
All political parties had called for a bandh after Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified assailants, but workers from the Congress, NCP and Republican Party of India also organised a protest march. Several politicians including Pune mayor Vaishali Bankar and corporators participated in the march, and the incident took place near Phule Market, when some politicians tried to convert the procession into a public meeting.
Many youngsters who were part of the procession were shouting slogans against the government for not tabling the Anti-superstitions and Black Magic Act and held the government responsible for Dabholkar’s murder. When a group of RPI workers tried to address a meeting, youngsters continued to shout. Bankar tried to pacify the crowd, but she was also not allowed to speak. Sensing the mood, politicians left the march soon after.
A similar incident took place on Tuesday night when chief minister Prithviraj Chavan reached Satara to pay homage to Dabholkar. Chavan was surrounded by angry activists shouting slogans against the government until the police stepped in and took him to Dabholkar’s residence.