Days after being shot at, Pansare dies in Mumbai where he was flown for treatment

NB - After this latest outrage by the obscurantist hooligans it is clear that the fascist elements on India are determined to silence all critical voices, and impose their own world view on all of us by force and terror. There is circumstantial evidence that the men who carried out this latest assassination of an elderly and respected figure in Maharashtrian society belong to the same group that murdered the well-loved rationalist Narendra Dabholkar last year, as he had indeed been threatened by reminders of the fate of Dabholkar. In turn, the latter had been told to 'remember Gandhi'. 

Pansare's death caused by silent support of govt: Maharashtra activists slam BJP
Remembering CPI stalwart Govind Pansare

Those who doubt that the steady criminalisation of the Indian polity has gathered velocity in the past few months, may note that the people who take pride in assassinating old men have no hesitation in letting us know what they are capable of. How far the senior leadership of the government and its allies know what is going on is a matter for the police and judiciary. But given the number of 'clean chits' and re-instatements of policemen with dubious records,  we have been fore-warned. All those who view the non-political 'parivar' with rose-tinted spectacles may ignore this latest assassination at their own peril. -DS

Rationalist and anti-toll activist Govind Pansare dies
Veteran CPI leader Pansare was shot at along with his wife in Kolhapur on February 16 while they were taking a morning walk. After undergoing surgery at a hospital in Kolhapur immediately after the shooting, Pansare was flown here this evening in an air ambulance arranged for by the Maharashtra government. He was admitted to the Breach Candy hospital, where he succumbed during treatment, an official said.

MUMBAI: Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govind Pansare (82), who was critically wounded by gunshots this Monday, was airlifted to Mumbai on Friday for advanced treatment, at the behest of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Traffic police had created a green corridor in the peak hours to ensure there were no delays in shifting him to the Breach Candy Hospital from the old airport at Kalina.

Doctors at Breach Candy Hospital said the veteran leader was critical. "He is on ventilator. He is critical but stable," said medical director Dr Geeta Koppikar. The hospital refused to divulge any more details about his health condition. Doctors at Aster Aadhar Hospital in Kolhapur said Pansare has been on the ventilator since he was admitted after the attack. They said he has been facing difficulty in breathing due to swelling in the lungs. Pansare and his wife Uma was shot at by unidentified gunmen. A bullet had hit him in the lungs, causing injuries and swelling. His wife's condition is said to be stable.

A team of J J Hospital doctors accompanied Pansare from the airport to the south Mumbai hospital, as one lane was cleared out throughout the course of journey. Dean Dr T P Lahane was at the airport when the air ambulance reached Mumbai. "He was accompanied by his daughter-in-law Megha and senior doctor Ajay Keni, who had been treating him in Kolhapur," said Lahane. He added that traffic police made an extraordinary arrangement to ensure there were no red lights throughout the journey.

B K Upadhay, joint commissioner, traffic, confirmed that a green corridor was created to facilitate his smooth transfer. It is usually done for VVIPs, like the prime minister or visiting heads of other nations. The air ambulance took off from Kolhapur around 5.40pm and landed in Mumbai around 6. On Monday, Fadnavis had said that the government would shift Pansare to Mumbai if needed. However, Pansare was critical and Kolhapur doctors had advised against it.

"Over the past five days, Pansare's health has been slowly improving. His condition is stable. Considering his age, diabetes and the possibility of requiring ventilator support for a long period, Dr Keni and I allowed him to be shifted to Mumbai," said Ulhas Damle, medical director of Aster Aadhar hospital. Fadnavis on Friday had tweeted that the state government arranged the air ambulance to shift Pansare to Mumbai for further medication.

Meanwhile, vehicular movement had to be stopped on J J flyover for sometime on Friday evening as citizens marched towards Azad Maidan to protest against the attack. Vehicles had to be diverted below the bridge which resulted in snarls on the stretch. A backlog of vehicles was also noticed. The protestors started marching at 3 pm and reached Mahapalika Marg around 4.30pm, officials said. Additional traffic police personnel were deployed. Traffic movement was restored later in the evening on the J J bridge.

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Months after the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013, Pansare received a threat letter stating "Tumcha Dabholkar Karu", which translated that he could also be killed like Dabholkar.
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