Aug. 22: Narendra Dabholkar’s bike-borne killers waited over 45 minutes before shooting the anti-superstition campaigner dead in the heart of Pune on Tuesday and speeding away, according to grainy CCTV footage that has yielded little more as clues.
“The footage shows two suspects on a bike. But the images are blurred and not enough to establish their identities,” a Pune officer said about the pictures from 43 CCTVs in the area.
The images show two suspects moving nearby for around 47 minutes before shooting the 65-year-old while he was on his morning walk. The police are probing if the duo had followed Dabholkar from his residence. Calls from the area around the time are being scanned, police sources said.
Eyewitnesses have said the youths appeared 25 to 30 years old but have given police an incomplete registration number of the bike. Owners of nearly 50 bikes with similar numbers are being questioned.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has announced Rs 10 lakh for information, and the police another Rs 1 lakh.
Yesterday, the state decided to bring an ordinance against superstition and black magic, recognising the strong public sentiment for it after the killing of Dabholkar who had campaigned for such a law.
But the VHP today dubbed it a decision taken in “haste”. Its leader Venkatesh Abdeo said the organisation was also opposed to black magic but that didn’t mean the government should take a decision that affects “Hindu dharma”.“The government must withdraw its plan.”
The Union home ministry has told Maharashtra it has no plans to ban Sanatan Sanstha, which had allegedly threatened Dabholkar in the past over the anti-superstition law, in absence of any proof. The Sanstha has denied the allegation.