Rightwing Activist Arrested for Rationalist Govind Pansare's Murder

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Rationalist Govind Pansare was shot dead in February

Kolhapur:  Months after the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare, the police in Maharashtra have made the first arrest.

Sameer Gaikwad, an activist of rightwing group Sanatan Sanstha, was picked up at around 4.30 am this morning in Sangli. The 32-year-old suspect runs a mobile repair shop.

"He has been a member of Sanatan Sanstha since 1998," said senior police officer Manoj Kumar Sharma.

Mr Pansare, a Left leader, and his wife were out on a morning walk on February 16 when they were shot at near their home in Kolhapur by men on a bike. Mr Pansare died four days later, after being flown to Mumbai for treatment.

Mr Pansare had been at the forefront of an anti-road toll agitation

Last month, scholar MM Kalburgi was shot dead at his home in Karnataka's Dharwad by gunmen who escaped in a bike.

Similarities have been drawn between the killings of Mr Pansare, Professor Kalburgi and well-known anti-superstition activist, Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead in Pune in 2013.

Yesterday, the families of all three met Karnataka Chief Minister M Siddaramaiah to press for a proper investigation into Professor Kalburgi's murder.

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