Eminent progressive thinker and Ambedkarite Dr Krishna Kirwale (62) was stabbed to death in his house near Shivaji Vidyapeeth in Kolhapur this evening. Police have arrested a suspect in this connection. Police suspect that the murder might be a fallout of a financial dispute.
After senior police officials rushed to the spot, the suspect was tracked down and arrested within hours of the murder. He has been identified as Pritam Patil. The police said Patil is a resident of Kolhapur but refused to divulge any further details.
However, sources in Kolhapur police said suspect had worked as a carpenter at Dr Kirwale’s house a few days ago. He reportedly had a dispute with him over payment for the work done.
A large number of people gathered outside Dr Kirwale’s, suspecting the murder took place on ideological grounds. But the crowd dispersed after realising the real motive behind the murder.
The body of Dr Kirwale was found in a pool of in his Rajendra Nagar area residence near Shivaji Vidyapeeth. The body has been sent for postmortem.
Additional police force was deployed in some parts of Kolhapur as Dr Kirwale was a respected personality among the followers of Dr B R Ambedkar. Given the state’s past record and killing of a number of Dalit activists and whistleblowers, the police swung into action and nabbed a suspect hours after the incident.
Dr Kirwale’s muder come three years after the killing of another well-know Kolhapur resident, Govind Pansare, a veteran Communist leader and thinker.
Dr Kirwale had retired as Head of Department of Marathi in the Shivaji Vidyapeeth just a few months ago. Known for his progressive thoughts, Dr Kirwale was chief of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Centre for Research and Development.
Dr Kirwale had authored a special dictionary on words used by Dr Ambedkar in his writings and speeches. Popular among the students, Dr Kirwale was known for his study on progressive movements and Dalit literature in Maharashtra. He had written several books and used to write for newspapers.
Born in May 1954 in Beed district of Marathwada region, Dr Kirwale had completed his PhD from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in 1987.