Maharashtra: Statements Condemning Attack on Com Govind Pansare and Mrs. Uma Pansare

February 17, 2015

Statement from Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights

16th February 2015

CPDR Condemns Cowardly Attack on Com Govind Pansare and Mrs. Uma Pansare

We are deeply shocked by the news this morning that some unknown assailants fired upon a senior communist leader Govind Pansare and his wife, Mrs. Uma Pansare near their residence in Kolhapur. They were on their usual morning walk when reportedly bike-borne assailants fired five gunshots at the couple. Three bullets hit Com. Pansare and one his wife. People found them in a pool of blood, when they were rushed to a private hospital. The assailants had fled the scene after the incident.

This is an exact repeat of the murder of Narendra Dabholkar in Pune on 20 August 2013. Despite nationwide public outcry over his heinous murder, the Maharashtra Police could not apprehend the culprits.

Com Govind Pansare is a face of progressive opinion in Maharashtra for the last several decades. He had been in forefront in several people’s struggle, the latest being the agitation against the toll. He was outspoken critique of the increasing communalism in politics and anti-people policies of the government and has written popular books to educate masses. His book on Shivaji, countering a communal portrayal of Shivaji had run in several editions.

There is growing lawlessness in Maharashtra by the casteist and communalist elements. The present Hindutva dispensation in power in Maharashtra clearly appears to have emboldened them to go berserk killing people who are critical of them. They want to terrorize progressive Maharashtra by such cowardly acts. Sadly they do not understand that they are strengthening the resolve of millions of Maharashtrians to defeat them.

We pray Com Pansare and his wife get well soon to their active public life.

We demand the Maharashtra government to apprehend the murderers soon and dispel the apprehension in peoples mind that it is sheltering them.

Dr Anand Teltumbde
General Secretary
CPDR, Maharashtra

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Joint Statement from Trade Unions Condemning the Dastardly Attack on Com. Govind Pansare

We condemn the dastardly attack on Com. Govind Pansare and his wife in Kolhapur yesterday. Com. Pansare, a veteran CPI leader and also a long time leader of the AITUC in Kolhapur and in Maharashtra was always known for his progressive and outspoken scientific views. His book on Shivaji is one of the best known short expositions of the Maratha King from an objective and scientific historic viewpoint as opposed to the jingoistic communal colour given by the Hindutva brigade. He has worked tirelessly for the trade unions in the Western and Southern part of the state of Maharashtra both as a responsible office bearer of various unions and as a respectred senior advocate in the Labour and Industrial Courts.

Of late, though 78 years of age, he continues to be active in politics. He was at the forefront of the struggle against toll tax in Kolhapur since the past six months. About 15 days ago he gave a talk at the Shivaji University in which he exposed the real thinking of Nathuram Godse and showed how there was nothing to glorify there. This was not liked by a section of the audience. About a week ago he gave a talk about the 26/11 incident in Mumbai where he made certain remarks about the ATS chief Hemant Karkare which were also not liked by a section of the audience. That signifies Com. Govind Pansare. He was never one to shy away from courting controversy if the truth demanded it.

Yesterday, as he and his wife got home from their morning walk, while some celebrated with crackers over a world cup match, the shooters used that sound as a cover to shoot them. This is in continuation of a spate of incidents against minorities and social activists in Modi’s reign. It is clear that the worms are crawling out of the wood work to bask in the sun of Hindutva which invigorates neo-liberal policies everywhere.

Com. Govind Pansare is in hospital in Kolhapur having been shot in the neck and chest while he wife suffered a head injury. Our wishes go out to both his wife and him and his family and friends at this critical time. There have already been a spate of demonstrations all over the country to condemn this shooting of Com. Pansare. We call upon all democratic and progressive forces to come out in force to condemn this shooting. The shooters must be apprehended and brought to book. The Modi Government’s and Phadnavis Government’s apathy and, at least implicit, collusion in such incidents has to end. We call upon the working class to take a lead in organising all the democraticc and progressive forces against such fascist trends prevalent in India today.

Bring the shooters of the Pansare’s to book immediately!
Down with Hindutva Fascism!
Long Live Working Class Unity!

Swapan Mukherjee (General Secretary, AICCTU)

B. Pradeep (General Secretary, IFTU)

Gautam Mody (General Secretary, NTUI)

Sanjay Singhvi (General Secretary, TUCI)