Pune citizens today woke up to a shocking news. Narendra Dabholkar, anti-superstition activist and a rationalist from Maharashtra was found dead in a pool of blood at the Omkareshwar Bridge near Cosmos Bank in Pune, reports DNA.
The Founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an organization set up to eradicate superstition was shot four rounds by two unidentified youths at 7.20 am, while he was out for his morning stroll.
Though there have been no arrests so far but the killing comes just days after Maharashtra government’s assured introduction of the anti-superstition bill. The bill that would have been a big jolt to the anti-superstition and black magic activities, found continued opposition from many Right Wing groups, especially from the certain sections of Warkari sect, in the state.
Speaking on anonymity to Mid Day, Dabholkar’s close associate claimed that for past few days, the activist was getting threat calls, warning him of dire consequences if he continued his efforts towards Anti-Superstition bill. It is also being said the attack was a pre-planned one since the assignees knew that Dhabholkar spent every Tuesday and Wednesday in Pune and that morning stroll was part of his daily regime.
The broad day light shoot out of a staunch fighter, who for the past twenty years has confronted many babas, buas, tantriks, etc. and led many agitations against several forms of superstitions, water pollution and animal sacrifices, has got support from the government too. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has announced Rs.10 lakh reward for anyone who gives information on Dabholkar’s killers.
Rage on Twitter
The news came as a big surprise to netizens since it was a broad day light murder of a man fighting relentlessly for a cause. Twitter became the common ground for netizens’ frustration and anger.
Keyword Narendra Dabholkar has been trending on Top India Twitter trends since morning. While most of the tweets where related to the grief some even took the opportunity to showcase the struggle of Dabholkar, who started working in the field of superstition eradication in 1983.
As my friend @amviraj says, it took a bullet to kill Narendra Dabholkar, not black magic & evil spirits godmen have been “using” on him
— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) August 20, 2013
Passing the “Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Bill” is the ONLY way to honour Narendra Dabholkar. Hope Everyone comes out in Support
— Joy (@Joydas) August 20, 2013
Dabholkar stood for rational dissent all his life. Shot, just days after his campaign for the anti-superstition bill. http://t.co/eXFwJX0gW1
— Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) August 20, 2013
Saddened that Maharashtra’s soil which spurred rationalist thought now kills anti superstition voices. RIP Narendra Dabholkar.
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 20, 2013
Absolutely shocking. Fighter against superstition, blind faith, writer. Why? @LoksattaLive: Flash: Narendra Dabholkar shot dead in Pune.
— Sucheta Dalal (@suchetadalal) August 20, 2013
Day begins with a horrifying news. Dr. Narendra Dabholkar of Andhashradhdha Nirmulan Samiti shot dead in pune.
— meena karnik (@meenakarnik) August 20, 2013
A sad day for a country reeked with superstition.
Image courtesy: Facebook