Dabholkar probe officer on Hindu extremists radar

Alok Deshpande

As similarities between the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, progressive thinker M.M. Kalburgi in Karnataka, and Tuesdays murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh are being discussed, details have emerged that not only journalists, but even an investigating officer probing the Dabholkar murder case is being watched.

Journalist and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashish Khetan has received threat letters allegedly from right wing extremist organisations for his writings and expose in the Dabholkar murder case where he had named Sanatan Sanstha members as perpetrators.

Besides Mr. Khetan, who had filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court in July, the threat letters have mentioned Nandkumar Nair, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) Superintendent of Police probing the Dabholkar murder case, as a rogue element, who is deceiving pious Hindu saints.

The CBI in its charge sheet in the Dabholkar murder case has named absconding Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, sadhaks of Sanatan Sanstha, as two assailants. Another sadhak Virendra Tawde is in custody.

The petition, a copy of which is withThe Hindu, mentioned two anonymous threat letters dated July 2016 and May 2017. ..You have crossed all limits when you abused Sanatan Sanstha and well respected Hindus. You conspired to defame Sanatan and asked for banning it. Its time to give a hisaab of all your filthy activities As you can see we know where you live and what you are up to. Get ready to meet the same fate as Dabholkar and Pansare! said the first letter.

The second letter said, You have taken the help of Mr. Nandkumar Nair, who is working in CBI and is himself a rogue element and then deceived the pious Hindu Saints. Miscreants like you are fit for receiving the death sentence in a Hindutva Country and we wish that with the Gods grace, this task will be fulfilled very soon.

The letter called him evil Shishupal and said Mr. Khetan should be killed for his sins. Reporters like you are the reason for pious ladies like Sadhvi Pragya have to spend so many years in jail, it said.

Both these letters have been submitted to the court by Mr. Khetan.

When contacted, Mr. Khetan said he has complained about the letters to competent authorities and even requested a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Neither the meeting took place nor security was provided to me.

The petition sought the court direction to lay down standard operating procedure or guidelines which shall govern such exigencies where a citizen of the country is being threatened with dire consequences solely on the grounds of expressing their opinion and ideologies.

The inaction on part of the State specifically in absence of the guidelines or standard operating procedure in cases where death threats are effortlessly issued to those who challenge the dominant ideology, be it journalists, free thinkers, rationalists, secularists, anti-superstition and critical thinkers, writers and intellectuals, will soon lead to murdering those with differing opinions or agendas on regular basis and the norm being acceptable to society as a whole, said the petition.

Mr. Nair could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.


Courtesy: The Hindu