Narendra Dabholkar, a well-known rationalist who had been pressing for a law against superstition in Maharashtra, was shot dead this morning in Pune. He was leading a campaign to persuade the Maharashtra government to pass an anti-superstition and black magic bill. Some right wing Hindu groups including the Warkari sect have been opposing the bill.
Dabholkar was gunned down by motorcycle-borne assailants near Omkareshwar Temple, when he was on a morning walk. They fired indiscriminately at him and fled away, leaving him in a pool of blood. He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. His murder comes days after the government had promised to introduce the long-pending Maharashtra Eradication of Blind Faith Bill in the current assembly session.
Dabholkar was the founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Committee for Eradication of Blind faith) that aimeda at changing social mindset and inculcating a scientific temper.