‘Dissent is seen as a threat to religion’

Mumbai: Every expression of dissent is taken as a threat to religion these days and unemployed youngsters are systematically trained to protect their religion at all cost. These were the observations made by the Bombay High Court as it directed the CBI and the state CID to expedite the probe in the Dabholkar-Pansare killings. The division bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Makarand Karnik also slammed the investigating agencies for waiting for leads to develop in the Gauri Lankesh murder probe.

It further said it could no longer repose absolute trust in the probe agencies. The bench was annoyed as the CBI and the CID had not filed any charge sheet against Amol Kale, Sharad Kalaskar and Sachin Andure, who are accused of executing the brutal murders of rationalists Dr Narendra Dabholkar in 2013 and Govind Pansare in 2015. The trio is also accused of killing journalist Gauri Lankesh. “Given the magnitude of the crimes, the CBI and the state CID just cannot depend on the outcome of the probe being carried out in the Lankesh murder case.

The two machineries will have to work independently to trace the accused in the crimes committed in Maharashtra,” Justice Dharmadhikari said. “We are not getting the feeling that all the guilty persons are being brought to book,” Justice Dharmadhikari remarked. The bench said, though a dedicated team of experts had been formed to probe the two killings in Maharashtra, these officers are not ‘well-versed’ with the working of extremist organisations and their thought processes. “Everything is viewed as a threat to a religion or religious sect.

It is systematically inculcated in unemployed youth that it is their duty to protect the religion, even if it means eliminating those espousing contrary opinions and thoughts,” Justice Dharmadhikari observed. The bench further said that such ‘radicalisation’ is being possibly done ‘just for earning money’. However, these thoughts become deeply entrenched in young minds. “It is definitely the masterminds, with a strong institutional backing, who then arrange weapons and provide training.

Therefore, to curb such activities in the name of protecting a religion, it is necessary that investigations in these two cases be brought to a close as expeditiously as possible,” Justice Dharmadhikari said. The judges noted that Dabholkar and Pansare were killed much before Lankesh. “But it was only after the accused in the Lankesh murder were apprehended that the state machinery moved forward,’’ Justice Dharmadhikari remarked.

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