MUMBAI: The condition of veteran CPI leader Govind Pansare, 78, who along with his wife was shot at by two unidentified motorcycle borne assailants, is said to be critical. However, his wife Uma was stated to be out of danger. The Kolhapur Police have detained five people in connection with the assault on Govind Pansare. But their identity has not yet been disclosed.
According to Minister of State for Home, Ram Shinde, the assailants had fired three bullets at Pansares when they were returning from their morning stroll. Pansare suffered serious wounds as one bullet grazed the nape of his neck and the other one hit him in the armpit. The third bullet hit Uma on her hand and she was thrown to the ground as a result of the impact. Following the incident, the couple was rushed to nearby Adhar hospital.
According to Nivas Salokhe, a close aid of Pansare, the veteran leader’s heart had virtually stopped beating when he was admitted to the hospital. “ However, the doctors performed a surgery on him as he was profusely bleeding. The doctors said his condition was critical but stable,” he said.
Pansare’s neighbours had heard the gun shots around 8:45am. In the beginning, they thought someone was celebrating India’s victory over Pakistan in the cricket World Cup. Later, they found Pansare lying in a pool of blood. Pansare is a well-known personality in the state’s Communist movement. He has been associated with the workers’ movement for the last 40 years. He has been at the vanguard of an agitation for securing basic rights to the domestic helps and was also involved in the agitation against toll tax in his home town, Kolhapur. Pansare had written a book on Chhatrapati Shivaji, which dealt with the depiction of the Maratha Emperor. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis termed the incident was shocking and ordered the setting up of 10 police teams to nab the assailants. “We will investigate the case from every angle. I hope the police will be able to nab the culprits soon,” he said.
The local police are probing if Pansare’s speeches, agitations and movement had anything to do with the attack.
The unexpected attack on the veteran Communist, the second one of its kind reported in Maharashtra after anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar’s daylight murder in Pune in September 2013, has shaken the state’s social and political circles.
Social activist Medha Patkar demanded that the assailants should be arrested immediately. “It should be probed whether there is any link between attack on Pansare and murder of Dabholkar,” she said.