A bandh was observed in Maharashtra after a call from the Left parties to protest the murder of veteran CPI leader Govind Pansare, with RPI(A) leader Ramdas Athawale seeking a CBI probe into the case.
Barring Kolhapur and Solapur, the bandh received a mixed response elsewhere in the state. The Opposition Congress and the NCP had declared support for the protest.
In Mumbai, Athawale participated in a ‘rasta roko’ at suburban Chembur to support the bandh and the Left workers held a protest at Worli Naka.
Athawale demanded a CBI probe into Pansare’s murder.
“His murder is a blot on the progressive image of Maharashtra,” he said.
The Kolhapur police today announced a cash reward of Rs five lakh for anyone providing information about Pansare’s assailants.
The 78-year-old Communist leader’s mortal remains were consigned to flames in his hometown Kolhapur yesterday in the presence of a large number of his friends, supporters and admirers. However, no religious rituals were performed at the funeral.
Neither state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis nor any central Left leader attended the funeral.
Fadnavis said in Nashik on Saturday that Pansare’s murder was a challenge to the system.
“It is not an attack on an individual. It is not an attack on an ideology. It is a challenge to the system,” he said.
Two motorcycle-borne assailants had shot at Pansare and his wife Uma on February 16 near their residence in Kolhapur when the couple was returning from morning stroll.
Pansare, who was hit by three bullets, succumbed to injuries at Breach Candy Hospital late on Friday. Uma is presently recuperating in a Kolhapur hospital.