With no breakthrough in sight a month later after noted Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and activist Govind Pansare was gunned down in Kolhapur district, the Maharashtra government announced it would seek the aid of foreign experts if the need arose even as it increased the number of teams assigned to crack the case.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Pansare’s daughter, Smita, his son-in-law, advocate Bansi Satpute and a delegation of left leaders and activists met with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Legislative Assembly in Mumbai demanding that the CPI leader’s killers be brought to book immediately.
Despite Mr. Fadnavis’ assurances that justice would be done, Ms. Pansare said that the government was perhaps overlooking the involvement of reactionary forces in her father’s killing.
According to her, the police suspect that the shooters escaped in the direction of the Karnataka border adjoining the Kolhapur district.
Left parties and organisations have warned of another major protest if the State government failed to apprehend the killers soon.
The Chief Minister, while seeking to assuage fears of bureaucratic apathy felt by the Pansare family had said that the investigation agencies were operating under no constraint in this case and that the State would even consider taking the help of foreign ballistics experts if required.
Meanwhile, while the Kolhapur police have recorded part of the testimony of Mr. Pansare’s wife, Uma, the prime eyewitness in the February 16 shooting, they said she had yet to comment on the sketches of the possible assailants shown to her.
They said Ms. Pansare, who was grievously wounded in the attack suffering a depressed skull fracture, had trouble recollecting facts owing to her wound.
In another development in the same region, the State government not wishing to take chances after the murders of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and Mr. Pansare, have acquiesced to a 24X7 security detail to protect noted activist-writer Dr. Bharat Patankar.
Mr. Patankar had received death threats in the form of hate letters on March 16, a month after Mr. Pansare was killed. Six security personnel have been deployed at Dr. Patankar’s residence in Kasegaon in adjoining Sangli district while two policemen have been assigned as his bodyguards.
“We are thoroughly investigating the origin of these ‘hate’ letters threatening Dr. Patankar that he too would be killed in the manner of Mr. Pansare,” said Dilip Sawant, Superintendent of Police, Sangli.