Apart from the motive and the people behind the attack, there was one more question on the minds of many who came to pay their respects to communist leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur on Saturday: Why did the government move him to Mumbai, even though his condition was “stable and improving” at Kolhapur’s Aster hospital.
Pansare succumbed to the injuries within a few hours of being airlifted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital and had to be brought back to Kolhapur on Saturday.
Bansi Satpute, Pansare’s son-in-law, said, “The decision to shift to Mumbai was taken keeping the family in the loop. We believe it was an appropriate decision.”
The Pansare family was initially apprehensive of shifting him to Kolhapur, but gave in considering the doctors’ view that he needed an advanced surgery. Based on the directions from the chief minister, Kolhapur district collector Rajaram Mane held a meeting with doctors from Aster hospital and members of the Pansare family. The administration then made arrangements for an air ambulance.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had then tweeted, “I had gone to meet Pansare in the hospital. The government made every effort to save his life.”
“The government wanted to make everything possible to save Pansare, especially as the attack raised questions over the inefficiency of the police in foiling the attack and catching the culprits. The worker class was irked with the attack. Under such a situation, Pansare’s death would have led to a law and order,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
Ulhas Damle, chief medical officer at Aster hospital, had said the leader’s condition was stable, although there was swelling on his lungs. Tatyasaheb Lahane, dean, JJ hospital, who accompanied the communist leader from airport to the Breach Candy hospital, said there was bleeding in Pansare’s lungs. “His autopsy reports confirmed he died of haemorrhage in the lungs,” said Lahane.
CPI activists from across the state had gathered in Kolhapur for a two-day convention of the party, which was to begin on Saturday, but was cancelled after the Comrade’s death. While the attack angered them, its fallout was the surge in the number of attendees at the convention.