Investigations into Narendra Dabholkar’s murder suggest an elaborate plot that seems to be part of a larger conspiracy against the social reformer, say senior police officials. Joint commissioner of police Sanjeev Kumar Singhal said that eight teams have been formed to crack the case.
Two unidentified assailants - one of them wearing a rain cap, the other carrying a backpack – came on a black bike, parked it by the roadside, and allegedly fired at Dabholkar, 69, from a 7.65 mm pistol, on early Tuesday morning. Their task took no more than 5 minutes, according to investigations.
Among the four bullets fired at Dabholkar, two hit his neck from the rear side.
Singhal did not rule out the role of right-wing organisations such as Sanatan Prabhat and Hindu Janjagruti samiti, which have in the past publicly issued threats against Dabholkar for his stand against superstition and black magic.
Despite threats, Dabholkar never sought police protection even after being heckled at functions organised for activism.
According to Singhal, the attackers must have closely observed Dabholkar’s schedule prior to the attack.
By evening, the police released the sketch of one of the attackers. According to investigators, the duo was between 25 to 30 years, with average height.
“We have gathered CCTV footage of the route used by the assailants. The footage is being scanned,” said Singhal.
The police also made a disturbing discovery where an online photo of the victim was “crossed out.”