Veteran CPI leader Govind Pansare, who was shot at by unidentified assailants in Kolhapur, regained consciousness on Tuesday and his condition is improving, doctors said even as police are searching for clues to track down the culprits.
"Pansare's condition is stable. He is conscious and recognises people around him and that is a good sign...his condition is improving slowly and steadily but we will keep him on ventilator for now," Aster Aadhar Hospital's medical director and chief medical officer Dr Ulhas Damle told PTI.
A 9-member team of doctors had performed surgery on Pansare on Monday that lasted eight hours to remove a bullet lodged in his chest after he was shot in the armpit and check bleeding from an injury on the neck, Damle said, adding he was now convalescing in the ICU.
The condition of his wife Uma, who also received bullet injuries in the attack is improving as well.
"Uma Pansare is also much better now. She is also conscious. As a precaution we are treating her in ICU," Damle said.
More than 36-hours after unidentified assailants attacked the CPI leader, the police were struggling to get early leads in the case. The investigators were picking up threads they had left after anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar murder case was transferred to CBI, last year.
Sources in the investigation team maintained that they were checking whether there is any connection between the attack on Pansare and Dabholkar.
While cops grilled the five suspects who were arrested on Monday, a team of officials from local crime branch called arms dealer Manish Nagori for interrogation. Nagori, who was previously arrested in Dabholkar murder case, was later let off in
While police grilled five persons, a team of officials from local crime branch called arms dealer Manish Nagori, who was previously arrested in Dabholkar case was but let off later citing absence of any evidence against him.
"We are probing every angle in the case. At the moment there is no breakthrough," said Manojkumar Sharma, Kolhapur superintendent of police. Sharma said that the police have collected CCTV footage from the cameras installed in the vicinity. "The footages are being scrutinized," added Sharma. Govind Pansare and his wife Uma were shot at by unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants on Monday morning, while the couple was returning from a walk at Shivaji University in Kolhapur.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has assured that if need arises, Pansare will be shifted to Mumbai for better medical assistance.
Pansare's daughter-in-law Medha said that her father-in-law used to receive threat letters since the past few years. "However, he cared little even after Dabholkar's death," she added.
While his addresses on Nathuram Godse and killers of ATS chief Heman Karkare evoked opposition from some quarters in the past, his book "Who was Shivaji", a commentary on how fundamentalists misused the image of Shivaji against Muslims, drew strong opposition.
(Inputs from PTI)