Veteran Communist leader Pansare critical but stable; 5 detained for shoot him

Kolhapur(PTI): Govind Pansare was associated with various social movements in the state and was leading anti-toll movement in Kolhapur. The condition of senior CPI leader Govind Pansare, who was shot at by motorcycle-borne assailants, is critical but stable even as police have detained five persons in connection with the attack.

CPI leader Govind Pansare is being shifted to a hospital after he was shot at near his home in Kolhapur, Maharashtra on Monday.
CPI leader Govind Pansare is being shifted to a hospital after he was shot at near his home in Kolhapur, Maharashtra on Monday.

Mr. Pansare, 78, who was at the forefront of a campaign against road toll tax, and his wife were on Monday shot at and critically wounded by the assailants. The Communist leader received three gunshot injuries in the neck, armpit and on the right leg near the knee.

“Pansare is critical but stable,” Aster Aadhar Hospital’s chief medical officer Dr. Ulhas Damle said.

“Pansare underwent three operations yesterday which lasted for about eight hours. A team of nine doctors operated upon him and managed to remove a bullet lodged in his chest after he was shot in the armpit. The bleeding from the injury in his neck was also controlled. He was later shifted to the ICU,” he said.

However, there has been some damage to his lungs because of which he has been kept on ventilator. But his pulse and blood pressure are stable and kidneys are functioning normally, Dr. Damle said.

Pansare’s wife Uma was also operated last evening for a fracture on right side of the skull. She is now conscious and being treated in the ICU, the CMO said.

Meanwhile, five persons have been detained “on ground of suspicion” late last evening, a senior police official said but refused to comment any further.

The assailants had fired at Mr. Pansare and his wife outside the Ideal Housing Society when the couple was returning after their daily morning walk.

The attack comes almost a year-and-half since the murder of noted rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was also shot at in a similar manner during a morning walk in Pune. The case remains unsolved.

The incident triggered outrage and many senior leaders, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, had condemned the attack on Mr. Pansare.

Mr. Fadnavis had said that ten police teams have been formed to apprehend the culprits.