Kolhapur: Unidentified persons shot at veteran communist leader Govind Pansare (78) and his wife Uma near their residence in Sagarmala, Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, on Monday morning.
The assailants fled from the spot after the attack. Local residents who heard the gun shots around 8:30 am initially thought it was noise of crackers busted for celebrating victory of India over Pakistan in the World Cup cricket match. But soon some residents found Pansares lying in a pool of blood. They were then admitted to a hospital in Kolhapur for treatment. Pansare’s condition was reported to be critical, but stable. His wife Uma was known to be out of danger.
Pansare is a well known name in the communist movement and is known to be a critic of right wing groups. Police are probing if his speeches, agitations and movement against the opposite ideology has anything do with the attack. So far there is no clue regarding the assailants.
Ankit Goyal, Additional superintendent of Kolhapur police told the Indian Express that both Pansare and his wife were attacked in the morning at Sagarmala. “Police teams are on spot. Assailants have not been identified yet. All angles are being probed. Investigation is on.”
The incident has shaken the social political circles of Maharashtra. It is being compared to the murder on rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar in Pune about one and a half year ago. Dabholkar was also shot dead while he was on morning walk on the Omkareshwar bridge on August 20, 2013. Now, Pansare has also been shot at in the morning hours. Doctors have identified a bullet in his chest.
Speaking to news channels, chief minister of state Devendra Fadnavis condemned the attack and said that he has asked the superintendent of Kolhapur police for carrying out detail probe into this case and find out the assailants.
Social activist Medha Patkar said,”Assailants should be arrested and it should be probed whether there is any common link with attack on Comrade Pansare and Dr Dabholkar’s murder. Police should probe the speeches given by Pansare in the recent times and other aspects.”
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar told media it is sad that progressive persons like Dabholkar and Pansare are being attacked in progressive state like Maharashtra. “In depth investigation should be done,” he said.