Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday said the image of India in outside world has become that of ‘a country of crimes and rapes’ and a place where ‘liberal and secular people are not safe’. The bench made these observations while hearing the case of slain rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and activist leader Govind Pansare.
A bench of Justices SC Dharamadhikari and Bharati Dangre observed that ‘the rest of the world is now hesitant to engage with India over educational or cultural issues’.
“The image of the country is such that those living abroad feel only crimes and rapes happen in India. Anywhere we go (outside of India), we have to answer a barrage of questions,” the bench said. “People are under the impression that liberal, open-minded and secular people cannot be safe in India and that they are bound to be attacked,” the bench added as per a report by TOI.
Pansare’s counsel Ashok Mundargi told the court that there was less hope now of achieving anything substantial from any further field probe. “Our only hope is scientific probe and evidence from call detail records, forensics etc.,” Mundargi said.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the CBI probing Dabholkar’s killing, reiterated the same opinion. On which, the bench asked how will the case then reach a conclusion. “Can we allow for the case to reach a dead-end when similar crimes are on the rise?” it asked.
Continuing further on the state of affairs in India, the bench said the rest of the world was now hesitant to engage with us over educational or cultural issues.
Dabholkar, who worked towards anti-superstition cause was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune while on a morning walk. While, Pansare who led a similar cause was attacked on February 16, 2015, along with his wife, in Kolhapur. He later succumbed to injuries on February 20, 2015.
A high court bench had last year noted that these killings were “well planned” and the assailants had an organisational backup.