Will more people be targeted: Bombay HC on murder of Lankesh, liberals

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on September 5 on the doorstep of her house in Bengaluru

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on September 5 on the doorstep of her house in Bengaluru

"This trend is unsafe."Lankesh's murder came up during the hearing of petitions regarding the killings of rationalists Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare". Not just thinkers, but any person or organisation that believes in liberal principles can be targeted.

Condemning the suppression of dissent in recent times, division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharti Dangre said that people are increasingly being targeted for their liberal principles.

The bench added saying, "This trend of killing all opposition is unsafe". This trend of killing any and all opposition and liberal values is unsafe.

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"What's the guarantee that more people will not be targeted for their beliefs and principles in the future?"

Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune while on his morning walk. The court even made a reference to the shocking murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead last month at her residence in Bengaluru. He succumbed to his injuries on February 20.

According to the Newspaper,"Will more people be targeted?" they sought to know from Singh and observed that the central agency cannot "take this (killings of people with liberal principles) lightly."There has to be some respect for liberal values and opinions but tehre is none", the bench said, adding, "it is like: if I oppose a person's view, I can get that person eliminated."During the hearing, the bench also sought to know if the CBI had changed its line of investigation as suggested by the court earlier". "Between every adjournment, more precious lives seem to be lost...(a) like-minded person has been killed in Bangalore", the bench added.

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"While your efforts are genuine, the fact remains that the prime accused are still absconding", said the court.

Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, the two men identified by the CBI as Dabholkar's attackers, are yet to be nabbed.

They have organisational backing, funding, technological support, and arms at their disposal. At the moment an accused Dr Virendra Tawde from Sanatan Sanstha is behind bars in Dhabolkars murder case but Saneer Gaikwad another sanatan member who was arrested in Pansare case is out on bail.

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The court, however, dismissed the apprehensions of the counsel for the families of Dabholkar and Pansare that the agencies were not probing the role of right wing group Sanatan Sanstha in the killings. "This is bringing disrepute to the country", Justice Dharamadhikari observed.

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