Cops probing crusader’s Satara campaign

The Pune police crime branch that is investigating the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar is also probing a particular campaign undertaken by the crusader and his son Hamid at their hometown in Satara. The two were involved in a programme supporting inter-caste marriages, which had faced stiff opposition from locals.
Dabholkar’s son Hamid along with the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANS) member Madhav Bawge in Latur had shielded several young couples marrying outside their caste from their families and communities’ backlash. The police is investigating if the rationalist’s murder was a fallout of this campaign. Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Rajendra Bhamre of crime branch unit-4 from the Pune police, the investigating officer in the case said, “We are investigating all angles and are also sharing inputs with our counterparts in Satara and Latur. It is too premature to reach any conclusion at this stage.”
When contacted, Hamid confirmed facing stiff opposition from local villagers towards inter-caste marriages. “The ANS has until now supported around 100 inter-caste marriages in the last ten years. However, I personally did not receive any threats. The opposition was also not in an organised form and
stemmed from the families of the girl and the boy,” Hamid said.
Meanwhile, the Pune police is also soliciting information from local gangs and criminals, particularly involved in gun-running. “We had earlier arrested several accused in arms cases and are seeking to know of any recent illegal weapons sale in the city that might have been used in the crime,” said a source from the Pune crime branch. The police also identified around 1,500 bikes in the entire state with the number 7756, that was noted by an eyewitness in the case.

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