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Maharashtra govt brings ordinance to check superstition, black magic

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 23:45

Mumbai/Pune: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to promulgate an ordinance to check black magic and inhuman religious rituals, a day after anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead fighting against the social malady.

Amid spontaneous public outrage and grief over 69-year-old Dabholkar`s killing, the state Cabinet approved the ordinance, which is likely to be promulgated in a day or two after its ratification by Governor K Sankaranarayanan, sources in the state secretariat said.

The sources said the Bill against black magic, blind faith and superstition would be passed in the next session of state legislature.

Dabholkar, who was running an anti-superstition movement in Maharashtra and had even drafted a Bill for the purpose in the late 1990s, was shot dead in Pune yesterday by two motorcycle-borne assailants when he was out for a morning walk. No arrests have been made in the case yet.

Political parties and social organisations, who had called a "symbolic bandh" against Dabholkar`s murder, took out a protest march and held demonstrations in Pune.

Shops and business establishments were partially closed but normal life was not disrupted.

Angry members of the public did not allow local level politicians to make a speech at the rally, denouncing political parties for failing to bring in a tough law to tackle the social menace.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan appeared to hint at the possibility of right wing groups being behind the murder of Dabholkar when he equated his assassination with that of Mahatma Gandhi.

"Forces who could not tolerate Gandhiji...Who could not tolerate his views and silenced his voice... The same way forces who could not stand the power of Narendra Dabholkar`s views have silenced his voice by his brutal murder," he said.

He said the case has been handed over to Mumbai crime branch for investigation.


First Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 15:38
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