The long march to justice: Pansare’s murder

Written by Megha Pansare | Published on: February 16, 2016

Image: Megha Pansare

Emotions were high as were the resoluteness of all of gathered at 9 a.m. to recall that awful day, a year ago when Comrade Pansare was shot at. Over 500 activists and students assembled along with Umatai Pansare, the rest of the surviving family and myself at 9 a.m. this morning. We met in remembrance and struggle.

The march then proceeded to Bindu chowk with revolutionary songs being sung along the way. Umatai Pansare and others garlanded the statues of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jotiba Phule.

“The long march to justice and equality that was severely jolted with the killing of Mahatma Gandhi, and then again with the shooting of Comrade Govind Pansare, a year ago will continue till the ideology that kills is rooted out,” Bhai ND Patil said here today while talking to the media.

Severely criticising the lack of political will of the present Maharashtra government in getting to the bottom of the conspiracy that killed Govind Pansare, ND Patil said, “the present government does not have the will to nab the killers.”

Finally the gathering that had by now grown to over one thousand met at the Prince Shivaji Maratha Boarding College, Govind Pansare’s alma mater. The elderly principal of the Prince Shivaji Maratha Boarding College, DB Patil, who was a long time colleague of Comrade Pansare was emotional in his recollections. Over one thousand students of the school and college participated in the remembrances.

Image: Megha Pansare

It is the slow pace of the struggle for justice that is enervating and draining. The Bombay High Court, even at the last hearing of the case, used harsh words, calling the attitude of the government and the investigating agencies “a miscarriage of justice.” Yet the matter drags on. Sameer Gaikwad, the sole man arrested, who is still in jail has approached the High Court for a transfer of the trial out of Kolhapur. We, on the other hand, have asked the High Court to direct that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed in this case (with its chief in Pune, one investigating officer in Pune, another in Kolhapur) be directed to only deal with this case and not with all and sundry other responsibilities. This prayer is yet to be heard out.

Meanwhile, in the trial court, the bail for Gaikwad has been rejected at the last hearing. I (Megha Pansare on behalf of the family) have made an application for the Ballistic Report to be sent to Scotland Yard. (There were reports of the similarity of source and kind in the bullets used to kill Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburghi). The accused on the other hand has asked to be released from his isolation cell. The judge in the trial court at the last hearing has asked for a report from the jailer on the matter of Gaikwad’s state of mental health.

Image: Megha Pansare