A day-long bandh is being observed in Pune today to raise the concern regarding safety of activists and urge the Maharashtra government to pass anti-superstition and anti-black magic bill, the cause that was close to heart of the slain social activist. It may be added here that his activism was being opposed by religious, extremist organizations and the Warkari sect in the state of Maharastra.
Dabholkar had been actively campaigning against superstitions and many times had challenged and confronted dubious tantriks and so-called holy men and babas.
According to various media reports, On August 20, during his morning walk, Dabholkar was shot at by two unidentified gunmen in Pune . Reportedly, four rounds were fired at him from a point blank range that took the activist’s life.
It is said that the assailants fled on a motorcycle parked nearby and no arrests have been reported so far. The state administration has announced a reward of Rs. 10L to any person with information about the assailants.
Dabholkar (1945–2013), though a physician by education and training, chose to become a social activist, rationalist and author after a few years of medical practice. He was the founder-president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an organization set up to eradicate superstition. Later, he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ABANS).