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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Dabholkar murder a blow to Maharashtra’s image, says Chavan

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 21, 2013
First Published: 08:32 IST(21/8/2013) | Last Updated: 12:22 IST(21/8/2013)

Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan says passing anti-superstition bill will be a real tribute to him.

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The brazen murder of anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar on Tuesday morning in Pune is a major blot on the state government.

Various parts of Maharashtra witnessed protests and condemnation of the attack.

Many felt it is a failure of police intelligence, while deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar admitted it is an embarrassment for the government.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan condemned the attack and declared a reward of Rs10 lakh for information on the two assailants and those involved.

He said the killing of the antisuperstition activist comes as a blow to the image of progressive Maharashtra.

The government is committed to getting the anti-superstition bill passed, and that would be the real tribute to him, Chavan said.

Union agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar described Dabholkar as a dedicated, selfless activist with progressive thinking.

“The progressive thoughts for which he gave his life will not die in the state. It appears that someone against his thoughts killed him. They are under a wrong impression that his thoughts would be finished by killing him,” he said.

The home minister of state RR Patil announced the inquiry has been handed over to the crime branch of Pune police.

“The matter is serious and I appeal to the people to maintain calm. The culprits will be nabbed soon. We have primary information on the attack,” he said.

The anti-superstition bill pending in the state legislature since a decade was drafted by Dabholkar in the late 1990s.

Later, Akhil Bhartiya Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti head Shyam Manav contributed to the process of changes made through deliberation with political parties and stakeholders.

On the activist’s killing, Manav said the fascist mindset in the state has crossed its limits, which is dangerous for the social fabric of the society.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said the failure in nabbing the culprit will point the needle of suspicion at the state government.

“My grandfather Prabodhankar Thackeray was a staunch preacher of anti-superstition.

What Dabholkar was following was not against any religion or god.

He was opposing ill practices in the society,” he added.

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde said Dabholkar’s murder has shown that activists who work fearlessly for social causes are not safe in Maharashtra.


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