Mumbai, Feb 21: Tributes poured in for veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare--who succumbed to bullet injuries last night here-- with a demand to nab the culprits at the earliest and need to take stern action against elements acting against progressive thinkers in Maharashtra.
"The assassination of a selfless social worker like Shri Pansare is a dastardly act.I have no doubt in my mind that the state government will take every step to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice," he said.
NCP leader Supriya Sule said Pansare's death comes as a shock because everyone thought he will survive the murder attempt.
"The death comes close on the heels of the passing away of NCP leader RR Patil which has cast a pall of gloom amongst us. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is heading the Home department, should take action to ensure that the culprits are brought to book immediately," she said.
NCP State President Sunil Tatkare said all individuals with progressive outlook should unite to stop such elements who want to destroy revolutionary and progressive leaders like Pansare. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), while paying tribute to Pansare, urged the Maharashtra Government to nab the assailants at the earliest.
"Just as the killers of Pansare have not been found, the killers of Dr Narendra Dabholkar are also still at large. As a result of this, the Government has made itself vulnerable to suspicion that its agencies may be supporting those behind the attacks on Maharashtra's progressive ideas and traditions," a statement from AAP said.
AAP said Pansare was at the forefront of the struggle against social injustices and inequality. Apart from being the voice of unorganised labourers, he was also leading the agitation against the exploitation of the toll contractor mafia. He was a strong advocate of inter-caste marriages as a means of countering the practices of discrimination in society.
"All activists today are feeling enraged and disturbed by comrade Pansare's death. We have to work harder to build a more rational and liberal society," the statement said.
Education Minister Vinod Tawde and Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse also condoled the demise of Pansare, saying the progressive movement in the state had lost one of its pillars and the loss to this fight for the rights of underprivileged is irreparable.