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Dabholkar murder: A year on, mystery continues

Dabholkar murder: A year on, mystery continues

Pune (Maharashtra): The mystery about the killers of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar continues as thousands of social activists gather here Wednesday to mark his first death anniversary.

Dabholkar, a campaigner against superstition and black magic, through his Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANS), was shot dead near the VRS Bridge near Junglee Maharaj Road in the city when he was taking a morning walk Aug 20, 2013.

"It is a shame the government has failed to nab his killers even one year after his murder... We shall launch protests against the state government throughout Maharashtra in Dabholkar's memory," son Hamid told IANS here Tuesday.

Hundreds of ANS volunteers, rationalists and social activists from all over the state will gather at 7.55 a.m. at the exact spot and time when Dabholkar was shot dead by at least two gun-wielding assailants who came and left on a motorbike that morning.

The people will pay homage to him through songs and raise slogans before marching in a procession to the nearby Mehendale Garage, Hamid said.

"A rally will be held there and 16 short skits on various themes for which Dabholkar fought all his life will be performed by 15 theatre groups from across the state," he added.

Several Bollywood personalities, including actors Naseeruddin Shah and Shreeram Lagoo, are expected to take part in the rally.

Since the past 10 days, these groups comprising about 250 artistes have so far performed 99 group plays in all parts of the state as a run-up to Dabholkar's death anniversary Aug 20, when the 100th performance will be held.

A similar protest march and rally will be held in south Mumbai's Dadar Wednesday afternoon.

Referring to the recent controversy over former city police commissioner G.D. Pol allegedly hiring a tantrik to summon Dabholkar's soul to get clues on his killers, Hamid reiterated the government is trying "to hide something".

"All evidences have been given to the government on this issue, but so far no transparent investigation is being carried out... I think they are trying to hide something from the people," he said.

The protests will continue at all district levels over the next one year to raise awareness on the causes propounded by Dabholkar.

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