Hamid Dabholkar, son of slain anti-superstition activist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, expressed unhappiness over investigators’ failure to zero in on the murderers of his father, CPI leader Govind Pansare and Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi.
“Why is it so difficult to identify them? There are reports in media that these three rationalists were killed by the same set of weapons, (but) even then the investigating agencies were speculating about the motive,” he said, speaking at ‘Mumbai Collective: Celebrating Freedom and Pluralism’, a two-day conclave here.
“All three of them were working to propagate rationalism and constructive criticism of religion. They were labelled as traitors of religion by a particular organisation which has a history of resorting to violence to achieve their agenda.
“The same organisation had put a red cross on Dabholkar and Pansare’s photographs (on its website). Still, two and a half years later, not a single arrest has been made,” he said.
“On one hand there is deep anguish of losing my beloved father, comrade Pansare and professor Kalburgi, and the insensitive delay in investigation, but on the other hand there is a definite ray of hope and feeling of solidarity when we see many youths and like-minded people coming together and supporting this cause,” Hamid said.
“Right from the day of assassination of Dabholkar (on August 20, 2013, in Pune), we were telling the agency that it is not a personal or property dispute. This is a planned assault on ideological framework and if you don’t arrest the culprits there will be more murders. But sadly nobody paid heed. One and a half years later, Pansare was killed in Kolhapur and four months later Kalburgi in Dharwad,” he said.
“It was very much possible for the state government and the topmost (investigation) agency of this country like CBI to save the lives of these people,” Hamid said.
Echoing the sentiment, Megha Pansare, daughter-in-law of Govind Pansare, said, “Arrest of one suspect (in Pansare case) has led to nothing… We are struggling for justice three years after the (three) killings.