From modus operandi to the weapon used, the attack on CPI leader Govind Pansare and his wife Uma have an uncanny similarity with the murder of another rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot to death in August 2013 while out on a morning walk.
Ironically, Pansare succumbed to the bullet injuries on Friday, one-and-half years after Dabholkar’s murder. The police have yet to trace the assailants in both the cases.
Govind Pansare and his wife were returning home from a morning walk at the Shivaji University in Kolhapur on Monday, when unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants fired five bullets at them. The CPI leader was critically injured, while his wife sustained head injuries. Dabholkar, an anti-superstition crusader, was killed in Pune by unidentified gunmen near his house in Shaniwar Peth, when he was returning home from his morning walk. The spot picked by Pansare’s attackers, too, was close to his residence in Sagarmala locality of Kolhapur.
According to the police, the gunmen with their faces covered had shot Pansare in his neck, shoulder and leg and fled within minutes, leaving no trace behind, a method eerily similar to the Dabholkar murder.
In recent months, Pansare had led the anti-toll campaign, an issue that had triggered a violent agitation in Kolhapur, setting locals up in arms against the company responsible for collecting road tax.