Rationalists and politicians called for a daylong shutdown in Pune on Wednesday to protest the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead outside a temple here on Tuesday morning.
According to television reports, auto-rickshaws will stay off the road from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., commercial establishments will remain closed while schools and essential services won't be affected.
Dabholkar, a doctor, was at the forefront of a campaign to persuade the Maharashtra Government to pass an anti-superstition and black magic bill. Right wing Hindu groups, including certain sections of the Warkari Sect and political parties had been opposing to the bill.
Police said Dabholkar, who was in his 60s, was gunned down by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants around 7.30 a.m. near Omkareshwar Temple while he was on a morning walk.
He was rushed to the Sassoon Hospital where he succumbed to his neck and back injuries.
Dabholkar was the founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Committee for Eradication of Blind faith) that aimed to change social mindset and inculcate scientific temper.
He had also written several books on superstition eradication and confronted tantriks and seers who promised miracles.
He was also the founder of a de-addiction centre in Satara and also edited Marathi weekly Sadhana. (ANI)