Pune: All individuals and organisations who had threatened leading anti-superstition Dr Narendra Dabholkar in the past will be questioned by the police in connection with his murder. Pune Police sources say teams have been sent to Satara, Sangli and Thane to trace Dabholkar's killers.
The police have made some headway in cracking the murder case with sources saying the statement of an eyewitness who has given the number of the motorcycle used by the alleged assailants has been recorded. The last four number of the vehicle is reported to be 7756 with police also verifying if one of the shooters had been trailing Dabholkar since the time he left from Mumbai for Pune.
The CCTV footage of the probable route taken by the assailants is also being examined with sources saying their exit route has been identified.
So far, the investigating team has checked the details of 49 motorcycles of similar number and make. CCTV footage from eight establishments around the crime scene have been recovered and is being examined.
Mumbai Crime Branch is helping the Pune Police in making more sketches of the suspects. The Dabholkar murder case also rocked Parliament on Thursday with the Cong promising assistance to the Maharashtra government.
However, Dabholkar's family has alleged that the state government has acted late. The Maharashtra Cabinet had cleared the anti-black magic and superstition ordinance for which Dabholkar had been campaigning for over a decade.
There was a bandh in Pune on Wednesday as a mark of protest against Dabholkar's killing. It got violent at the Film and Television Institute of India when the students were allegedly assaulted by members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vishwa Parishad which is the BJP's student wing. FTII students had organized an event to pay tribute to Dr Dabholkar when the alleged assault took place. A case of rioting has been registered against the ABVP.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan without taking names alleged that there was a big conspiracy behind Dhabolkar's murder.
"It is precisely this mindset that planned and conspired in a pre-meditated cold blooded murder of Mahatma Gandhi, a voice of peace a voice of brotherhood, that voice was unacceptable to certain people. The plot was hatched in Pune and was executed in Delhi. A similar plot was hatched - it was a cold-blooded murder, a pre-meditated murder. Somebody had kept a watch and an innocent who had no fight with anybody except that he was pleading for rationalism, scientific temper and against inhuman sacrifices and had devoted an entire life for a law of that nature to be passed," he replied when asked if those with the mindset of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, were behind the murder.
Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune by two motorcycle-borne assailants when he was out for a morning walk near the Omkareshwar temple on August 20.