Was godman asked to help solve Dabholkar murder? Probe ordered

Mumbai:An embarrassed Maharashtra government Tuesday ordered a probe into reports that said the services of a godman were solicited to probe the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

Police in Pune have been grappling to solve the killing of Dabholkar and nab his killers for the past 11 months.

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“This is a serious matter. Though I am aware that media reports quoted (former Pune police commissioner) Gulabrao Pol denying the allegations, I have nevertheless ordered a probe,” state Home Minister R.R. Patil informed media persons here.

The allegation, made in a national newsmagazine, evoked sharp reaction from Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar who promised Monday in Pune that if this was indeed true and if any evidence was found, then action would be taken against the culprits.

Ironically, Dabholkar spent a large part of his life fighting superstitions, godmen, tantriks, black magic and similar practices.

The magazine said Pol reportedly hired a retired policeman, considered a reputed tantrik living on the outskirts of Pune, “to summon Dabholkar’s soul” and inquire from it the circumstances behind his killing and also get clues to the murder mystery.

Attempts by IANS to contact the tantrik failed as he kept his mobile phone switched off.

While Pol availed voluntary retirement a few months ago, police have yet to nab the killers of Dabholkar who was gunned down Aug. 20, 2013 in a public place in Pune when he was taking a morning walk.

Recently, the Bombay High Court transferred the Dabholkar killing probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.