The horrific killing of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar and the impotent investigation so far have only laid bare the debility of the state police further. Maharashtra that was once deemed as one of the better-equipped states as far as law and order is considered, with minimal political interference, has lost most of that sheen, thanks to a series of murders of liberals and activists in recent times.

The inadequacy of cops in nabbing the killers of Dr Dabholkar has raised hackles in civil society and attracted nationwide attention. Even after releasing two sketches and sending CCTV footage to London to establish identities of the motorcycle-borne murderers, the probe has hardly seen any progress.

After observing the police efforts to investigate the 16-day-old murder, one can easily assume that the government lacks political will in better handling the case. Because, when Mumbai police can crack the shocking gang rape case at Shakti Mills within 48 hours, why are their colleagues in Pune unable to resolve the murder of an anti-superstition activist carried out in broad daylight?

This is a matter of concern, as 19 teams were formed to examine the case. The tardiness in the probe had forced Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to depute ATS Chief Rakesh Maria to help Pune police. So far, that has proved ineffectual. Such developments hardly restore one’s faith in state policing. Public ire cannot be tamed by knee-jerk reactions such as promulgation of ordinance on anti-superstition Act after diluting major provisions from the earlier draft. Clearly, this manifests deficit of political resolve to handle such delicate matters.