August 20, 2013, in Pune, India
Two unidentified gunmen on motorcycles shot Narendra Dabholkar in the city of Pune while he was taking an early-morning walk, according to local reports. The gunmen fled the scene. Dabholkar died from injuries sustained to his neck and back, police said.
Dabholkar, a prominent campaigner against religious superstition, was the editor of a weekly Marathi-language print magazine called Sadhana (Spiritual Devotion), which promotes scientific thought and covers topics including caste, politics, and religion. His lectures and writings propagated rationalism and scientific thinking in India, a country where superstitious beliefs are still rampant, the reports said. Over the years, Dabholkar had angered many Indians with his campaigns.
A few days before the murder, the Maharashtra state government said it would introduce a controversial anti-superstition bill, according to reports. Dabholkar had spent several years campaigning for the legislation to ban fraudulent and exploitative superstitious practices, which are still widespread across India.
Dabholkar had also founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith), a group that encouraged social reform in India.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said on August 23 that police were investigating thoroughly.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.