Comrade Pansare still on ventilator; National Human Rights Commission seeks report on attack
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Maharashtra, over the attempted assassination of social activist Govind Pansare and his wife, calling for reports within four weeks.
The commission considers the incident as ‘very serious’ and has observed it as the duty of the state to recognise and acknowledge the valuable contributions made by human rights defenders and create an environment in which they can
The chief secretary and director general of police were also asked to spell out the steps they would be taking to avoid such incidents in future, said a statement on Wednesday.
Outside his Mantralaya office, CM Devendra Fadnavis said the investigation in the case was going in the right direction though there was no concrete clue about the assailants yet. Talking to a section of the media, Fadnavis said Pansare’s wife was now in a position to help the police in drawing the sketches of the shooters.
In its notice, the NHRC hinted at Pansare’s toll agitation as one of the possible reasons behind the attack. It took suo motu cognizance of media reports about the gun attack on the Pansare couple by bike-borne assailants in Kolhapur on Monday.
“The commission considers the incident as very serious and has observed that it is the duty of the state to recognize and acknowledge the valuable contributions made by human rights defenders and create an environment in which they can act safely and freely. It has issued notices to the chief secretary and director general of police, Maharashtra, calling for reports within four weeks,” the NHRC statement said.
In Kolhapur, doctors said Pansare was in a critical but stable condition and was showing improvement. “The first 24 hours were critical … that period is over and he is responding positively to treatment,” said Ulhas Damle, medical director of the hospital. Pansare’s wife, Uma, no longer required ventilator support.
The police said they were working on three lines of investigation, namely, whether right-wingers were involved, whether industrialists against whom Pansare had organized worker stirs were responsible, and whether there was any property dispute or personal rivalry.