Mumbai, Nov 29 IANS | 2 years ago

Police in the Maharashtra city of Pune Friday ruled out the involvement of any right wing group in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar over three months ago.

In an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court Friday, Pune police said that doctor-turned-social activist Dabholkar also did not face any threats to his life.

The affidavit was submitted by Pune Assistant Police Commissioner Rajendra Bhamre before a division bench headed by Justice P.V. Hardas in a public interest petition filed by journalist-activist Ketan Tirodkar, demanding that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe the case.

Bhamre said that there was no evidence on record to show that this offence falls under the purview of the NIA Act.

Dabholkar was shot dead Aug 20 this year by at least three unidentified assailants while out on a morning walk near the Omkareshwar Temple, close his home.

Twenty two police teams have questioned over 1,100 local people so far and over 700 history-sheeters have been interrogated. Closed-circuit TV footage from the vicinity has been scanned but no headway has so far been made in nabbing the killers.

In 1989, Dabholkar founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) (society for the eradication of blind faith) with a few like minded people and raised his voice against superstition, irrational practices and blind faith and beliefs.

He confronted dubious tantriks, babas and buas - people who claimed to have supernatural powers to prey on gullible people.

Dabholkar was instrumental in pushing the state government to frame an anti-superstition law which was finally approved and passed as an ordinance a day after his murder.

The new law seeks to eradicate black magic, blind faith, superstitious beliefs, rituals and sacrifices to drive out evil spirits or ensure male progeny, perpetrated by self-styled godmen and practitioners of witchcraft and wizardry.

(Posted on 29-11-2013)