PUNE: As the Bombay High Court took the State government to task on Thursday saying that India is being seen as an unsafe space for liberals and questioned the delay in arresting murderers of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and Communist Party of India leader Govind Pansare, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANIS) organised a protest in the city on Friday.
Narendra Dabholkar, a renowned rationalist and founder of the Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was murdered in Pune on August 20, 2013, when he was taking his morning walk, while Govind Pansare was killed in a similar fashion in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015. The suspects in the two murders have been allegedly linked to the radical right-wing group called Sanatan Sanstha.
Hamid Dabholkar, speaking before the volunteers of the MANIS who had gathered in protest at the Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde Bridge near the Balgandharva Auditorium, said that the HC rap was an eye-opener for the State Government. He said, “It has been more than four years since
Dr Dabholkar was killed and three since Pansare’s murder. The State government and the police have not been able to even frame the killers yet, let alone prosecute them.”
“The court has rapped the State government, asking it if the murderers will be arrested only when they grow old. The court has observed that India’s image in the world is being damaged as a place where only murders and rapes happen. The world feels that liberals are not safe in India,” Hamid said, adding, “The state should now take this as a challenge and conclusively investigate the matter now.”
Talking about the future of the ANS, Hamid said that their work has proven the murderers wrong. “We have proved that killing a person cannot stop the ideas. Our work has only increased since the murder of
Dr Dabholkar. We are going to take forward the thought and principles and keep working to achieve them,” he said.