Referring to the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru while hearing a petition relating to the probe into the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, the Bombay High Court observed that such incidents show that "rival opinion is not tolerated", and that India would get a bad name if such cases were not checked. The future of this nation is at stake, we all will have to learn to respect constitutional values, freedom of speech.
Summary: Referring to the recent killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the Bombay high court on Thursday said the "trend of killing people who believe in liberal principles is dangerous". "It's like if there is some opposition to me, I must have that person eliminated", said Justice Dharmadhikari.
"This trend of killing all opposition is unsafe". The judges said they do not doubt the efforts made by the central agency, but those efforts had not led to any concrete results. We have also noted that nearly between every adjournment of this case, a precious life is lost. "One more such like-minded and precious life was lost last month in Bengaluru".
"Will more people be targeted? If the accused persons and organisations are feeling emboldened, then the probe agencies should take that as a challenge", the bench said.
The court asked the investigating agencies to look at changing their line of investigation, and make use of technology to catch the killers. "They have organisational backing, funding, technological support, and arms at their disposal", it said.
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According to Indian Express, the court, however, dismissed the apprehensions of Abhay Nevagi, counsel for Dabholkar and Pansare's families, that the probe agencies were not looking into the role of Sanatan Sanstha.
"While the court can't make details of the probe public, we can say this much that the probe reports have examined all angles". 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.
Dabholkar was shot in Pune on August 20, 2013. Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and succumbed to injuries on February 20, 2015.
The court is hearing petitions filed by the kin Dabholkar and Pansare, urging it to monitor the investigations in both the cases.
Lankesh was murdered outside her home while she was returning back from her office at around 8 pm on September 5. "This is bringing disrepute to the country", Justice Dharamadhikari observed.
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