CPI(M) general-secretary addressed rally marking 100 days since Dr. Dabholkar’s murder

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general-secretary Prakash Karat on Monday demanded a Central Act to prohibit superstition and black-magic.

He was speaking at the rally organised here to mark the 100th day since the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

“We feel that there is a need of a national-level Act like the one in Maharashtra. The issue should be raised in Parliament,” he said, referring to the atrocities and frauds committed by various individuals under the name of god and religion.

The protest march organised prior to the rally was led by the family members of Dr. Dabholkar and attended, among others, by Professor N.D. Patil, senior leader of The Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWPI), and veteran social activist Medha Patkar.

Mr. Karat also slammed the investigating agencies for shoddy investigation in the Dabholkar murder case. Referring to the recent affidavit filed by the Pune police in the Bombay High Court, which claimed no participation of communal forces in the murder, he asked: “When investigating agencies are clueless about the real culprits, how can they readily give a clean chit to them?” He called for a Special Investigation Team to investigate the case.

Dr. Dabholkar was shot dead by unknown assailants on August 20, 2013 in Pune, while on a morning walk. “We want the State government to pass the Anti-black-magic Act in the coming winter session. The police have no clue, even after 100 days, about [Dr. Dabholkar’s] murderers. We want the State government to speed up the investigation in this case,” said Avinash Patil, Executive President of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), which was founded by Dr. Dabholkar.

Following the murder of Dr. Dabholkar, the State government cleared the ordinance of the Anti-black-magic Act.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil on Monday announced that the Bill would be presented in the Maharashtra Assembly on December 8, during the winter session at Nagpur.

Dr. Dabholkar’s family has stressed that their priority was to pursue the clearance of the Bill in the Assembly’s winter session.

Dr. Dabholkar’s son Hamid on Monday told The Hindu that the family was not exploring any demand for a probe by a Special Investigation Team or the CBI at present.

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