Dabholkar, a doctor, was at the forefront of a campaign to persuade the Maharashtra Government to pass an anti-superstition and black magic bill. Right wing Hindu groups, including certain sections of the Warkari Sect and political parties had been opposing to the bill.
Police said Dabholkar, who was in his 60s, was gunned down by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants around 7.30 a.m. near Omkareshwar Temple while he was on a morning walk.
He was rushed to the Sassoon Hospital where he succumbed to his neck and back injuries.
Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol said they were investigating the motive.
Dabholkar was the founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Committee for Eradication of Blind faith) that aimed to change social mindset and inculcate scientific temper.
He had also written several books on superstition eradication and confronted tantriks and seers who promised miracles.
He was also the founder of a de-addiction centre in Satara and also edited Marathi weekly Sadhana.
Dabholkar's killing has been widely condemned by people from all sections of society, most vocally on social media.
--ANI (Posted on 20-08-2013)