Eight days after anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was gunned down by unknown assailants, Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol on Wednesday admitted that the assassination was a ‘supari killing’.
After meeting Dabholkar’s son Dr Hamid Dabholkar and daughter Mukta Patwardhan in the city around 4.20 pm, the police chief told the media that the murder was pre-planned and looked like an expert’s job who was given blood money.
“The murder was done by experts and we are working on all minute clues. We are yet to get any breakthrough in the case yet. Dabholkar’s beliefs and campaigns had earned him many enemies,” he said.
Pol said, “We are gathering data on recently released prisoners, those on parole and who have not returned in time. We are even tallying the modus operandi of crime with past records and checking even undetected cases. We are trying to glean information on weapons used and taking help of neighbouring police stations. We have also sent teams to Nashik, Sangli, Satara, Mumbai and other areas.” The police chief said that vehicle dealers in the city and the state have been asked to provide information on black Splendor bearing registration number 7756.
“We also met the driver of the bus in which Dabholkar had travelled to Pune from Dadar. We are searching the last person who sat in the vehicle and had got down at Pune. We gathered information from the auto-rickshaw driver who had left Dr Dabholkar at Shaniwar Peth,” Pol said. When asked about the appeal made by Dabholkar’s family to remove the derogatory remarks about the rationalist on some social networking site and domain, Pol said, “The website is being operated from USA and we have sent them a letter.”
Family upset with probe progress
Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s son Hamid and daughter Mukta have expressed their displeasure over the tardy pace of investigations into the gruesome murder of their father. Hamid told the media that it was unfortunate that the police have failed to nab the killers even after a week of the daylight murder.
“There could be two possible motives behind the murder, one is fundamental groups as my father was fighting for many causes and the other is organised cult. My father had tried unsuccessfully to meet chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who has now announced Rs10 lakh for any information regarding the murder, many times,”
Mukta said that the police are relying only on one or two witnesses in the case when they ought to examine more people, mostly morning walkers who use that stretch.
Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol has appealed to citizens to come forward and provide any information regarding the case. Citizens can call the police control room (26126296, 26122880, 26208250,100) or log on to www.punepolice.gov.in.
Merely arresting the killers will not solve the case but the real culprits and the mastermind must be brought to book. My father’s thoughts had reached masses and some of the groups were unhappy about it as they had faced political defeat and financial loss.
— Mukta Patwardhan
Starting today, I will be aggressively propagating the anti-superstition bill to masses and youths in the state for the coming six months. Under the name of religion, malpractice is being carried out. My father’s battle for a just cause will be carried forward
— Dr Hamid Dabholkar