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Police clueless about anti-superstition activist Dabholkar's killers

September 21, 2013 12:09 IST

Police have claimed that the probe into the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar is on the "right track". But no concrete clue to the broad daylight slaying seems to have emerged a month after the incident that jolted the progressive social movement in Maharashtra.

Protest marches and dharnas have rocked the state as supporters of Dabholkar gave vent to their anger and disappointment over the pace of the investigation which has practically drawn a blank even after a month.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crime, Rajendera Bhamre, investigating officer of the murder that stirred the conscience of the nation, said his teams were in the process of getting essential clues and the probe was on the "right track".

"A huge amount of information and data in the case has been collected by police who are now in the process of getting essential clues from the inputs collected from 19 special squads drafted to crack the case," he said.

He, however, remained evasive about the motive behind the murder supposedly committed by two motorcycle-borne assailants who shadowed the anti-superstition crusader and shot him dead from a close range while he was taking a morning walk.

A laboratory in London is processing the blurred CCTV footage to decipher the images of the killer duo.

Their footage was captured by the cameras installed in a building in the vicinity after police technicians failed to get anything concrete from their examination of the video clip.

Police have so far interrogated over 2,000 history-sheeters in the entire state, including over 1,000 from Pune. They have also questioned nearly 400 people who are regular morning walkers on the bridge located in the heart of the city.

While making no secret of their disappointment with the slow pace of the investigation, Dabholkar's family has so far refrained from demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

"We still have faith in Pune police," said Mukta, Dabholkar's daughter, who is also an activist of the Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti, the anti-superstition group founded by the activist.

The high-profile case is being probed in the background of strong opposition by certain right-wing outfits to the anti-superstition bill Dabholkar was pushing for with a sustained mass campaign.

The ongoing probe also saw Pune police swooping down on the Goa headquarters of Sanatan Sanstha, an organisation which opposed Dabholkar's campaign, and conducting inquiries with some of its activists.

The inquiries, however, failed to reveal any information, police said.

In a candid admission, Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol has gone on record to say that the culprits had "not left any evidence" behind after committing the dastardly act but the investigators were confident of a "breakthrough".

A few days ago, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil paid a visit to the Dabholkar family at their residence in adjoining Satara district and assured them that police investigations were going in the "right direction."

On the other hand, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has admitted that "no concrete clues" have so far surfaced in the probe.

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