It is three months today since rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, but the investigating agencies probing the case are still groping in the dark to find a lead in the case. Meanwhile, the winter session of the state assembly would commence on December 2, during which the anti-superstition bill would be discussed.
Keeping this in mind, members of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) have devised a plan of action to pressurise politicos, so that they bring up the bill for discussion on day one of the winter session. “First of all, I would like to say that all our volunteers are extremely disappointed as the killers and those involved in Dr Dabholkar’s murder are yet to be traced.
On several occasions, in the last three months, the Pune police said that had leads and were close to cracking the case. But the outcome remains zero,” MANS Chairperson Avinash Patil said. Pointing at the mistakes made by the investigating agencies, Patil said at present three agencies were working on the case — Pune police, Crime Branch and CBI.
“I think they lack coordination because all three give different information whenever asked about the progress of the investigation. We want a special cell or a team to be formed, which can coordinate with everyone and help them tread on the right track. We also suggested the Pune police to seek help from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in this crucial case,” he said.
When asked about the bill and efforts taken to ensure it is passed, Patil said MANS members had Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at least 10 times after the bill was drafted. “He assured us that the bill would be discussed and passed in the upcoming winter session. Though he said that the bill is one of his top priorities, we want it to be discussed on day one only of session itself.”
Commenting on the hurdles faced by the bill, which prevented it from becoming a law, Patil said there were two major reasons for the delay. “There are a few people or organisations in the state who are against this bill. Secondly, the opposition parties like the BJP and the Shiv Sena haven’t taken any firm stand over this bill. So we are spreading awareness about this bill in the state.”
District to district
MANS has already commenced an awareness campaign about the bill from November 14, which would go on till December 6. During the campaign, MANS volunteers would be visiting various districts in the state and hold rally with the help of local politicians who support the bill. While Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondiya, Chandrapur and Vardha districts were covered, a mass rally was held in the city yesterday. A similar rally has been planned in Mumbai on December 2, which will be addressed by the samiti top brass.