New Delhi: A group of scientists and educationists on Wednesday condemned the killing leading anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar and demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the perpetrators.
"The perpetrators of the ghastly act should be immediately arrested, brought to book and punished as per law of the land," they said addressing a press conference here.
"The atmosphere of intolerance is created by those vested interests which benefit from spreading myths and superstitions. There is a deliberate plot to push our society towards fanaticism," they said.
The press conference was attended a number of scientists and educationists including Prof Yashpal, Dinesh Abrol, Gauhar Raza and Amitabh Pandey.
69-year-old Dabholkar, known for his over two-decade long campaign against outdated and inhuman social practices, was shot dead by two unidentified assailants in Pune yesterday.
He was engaged in mobilising public opinion and holding discussions with Maharashtra government for passing an `anti-superstition and black magic` law in the state legislature, opposed by certain sections of the society, including the Warkari sect.
The group also demanded immediate passage of the anti-superstition and black-magic bill by the Maharashtra State Assembly.
Slamming those encouraging fundamentalism, Yash Pal said there must be concerted efforts to eradicate myths and superstition from the society.
Abrol, who has been a strong supporter of rationalist movement, blamed "right-wing" politics for Dabholkar`s "untimely" death.
"He died because we allowed this particular conservative and right-wing politics to grow," said Abrol. He added that Dabholkar was becoming a "trouble" for communities surviving on these "irrational practices".