Three years after renowned rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune, the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI has made the first arrest in the case.
Virendra Tawde, a doctor associated with rightwing Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, was arrested from Panvel near Mumbai yesterday. He will be produced in a Pune court today.
Anti-superstition activist Mr Dabholkar was shot dead by unidentified assailants on the morning of August 20, 2013 while he was on a morning walk near the Omkareshwar temple in Pune.
The police said four shots were fired at him at close range, two of which hit him in the back of his head.
He was murdered days after the Maharashtra government assured that it would introduce the anti-superstition Bill – opposed by many right-wing groups as “anti-Hindu.” It was his campaign that led the state government to draft the Bill.
Last week, CBI officers had interrogated Tawde in Mumbai, a day after his house in Panvel was searched.
The CBI took over the case from Maharashtra Police and filed a First Information Report or FIR on May 9, 2014 on the orders of the Bombay High Court.
Mr Dabholkar had, for many years, pushed for an anti-superstition Bill in the state assembly. He had also authored several books and was the editor of “Sadhana” magazine, devoted to promoting progressive and critical thinking.