City activists and supporters of Narendra Dabholkar took to the streets to protests against the murder of the Punebased anti-superstition activist.
More than 100 members and supporters of Dabholkar’s antisuperstition movement gathered outside Shivaji Mandir in Dadar and condemned home minister RR Patil for having failed to protect him.
“Dabholkar’s death has pushed back the state’s progress. He was facing a threat to his life and the police should have protected him,” said Madhukar Kamble, president, Akhil Bharatiya Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ABANS).
“We want Patil to resign and people such as Shyam Manav [founder of ABANS] should be given police protection immediately.”
Social activist and educationist Pushpa Bhave, who was associated with Dabholkar for 40 years, was shocked to learn about the incident.
“He always believed in rationality and even argued with his detractors to be rational. I think this incident has happened because his movement was attracting the youth,” she said.
Several Marathi actors and theatre personalities were part of the protest.
“Dabholkar always wanted to reach out to the masses, and he thought the best way was through actors and artistes. I have accompanied him to several schools and colleges in the state,” actor Sonali Kulkarni.
“I met him last week in Pune, where he brought out the new cinema edition of his magazine, Sadhana. He always took a keen interest in art,” she added.
The protesters walked from Shivaji Mandir to Chaitya Bhoomi and shouted slogans condemning the chief minister and the home minister, and vowed to continue Dabholkar’s movement to get the anti-superstition and black magic bill passed.