“If you play with the religious faith of society, you will meet the same fate (as Dabholkar).” This was the chilling message in a letter received by activists of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) ten days after the brutal murder of the eminent rationalist.
As a precautionary measure since August 30, cops are providing round-the-clock security to Sadhana Media Centre at Shaniwar Peth, where the mail was collected. Then again, even after two weeks since Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s murder, cops are clueless about his killers and the author of the letter. On the other hand, MANS activists claim such threat letters are an occupational hazard.
The communication warned Dabholkar’s associates to stop their ‘anti-religious work’. It also contains some derogatory remarks about the slain crusader, his colleagues and a Marathi actor.
“We have handed over the letter to Crime Branch. Since the day the communication was received, we have been providing uninterrupted security to Sadhana Media Centre,” said AA Sakunde, senior inspector, Vishrambaug police station.
Meanwhile Vinod Shirsath, executive editor of Sadhana of which Dr Dabholkar was the editor for 15 years, clarified that he and his colleagues have not asked for any police protection.
“Dr Dabholkar was receiving at least two such letters a month. So this is not a new nuisance for us. We have not asked for any special security. May be police find it necessary to provide it as a precautionary measure,” Shirsath told MiD DAY.
During your visit to Sadhana’s office at Shaniwar Peth one of these days, you’ll find three constables there, including a gunman. However, police are not providing any security to Sadhana’s Sadashiv Peth office, from where the weekly goes forprinting. “The letter was directed towards MANS workers and not Sadhana. The activists conduct some meetings at the Shaniwar office, which is why I suppose police have placed some personnel there,” Shirsath opined, adding that he had handed over the letter to Vishrambaug police on August 30 and has not heard of any developments in the probe since.