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Indian city protests at killing of anti-superstition activist



A strike to protest at the killing of a leading Indian anti-superstition activist shut businesses in the western city of Pune on Wednesday as police said they had made no progress in the case.

Narendra Dabholkar, who campaigned for a law to eradicate superstition in a country known for its mystics and gurus, was shot Tuesday by two gunmen on motorbikes as he was taking his morning walk in Pune in Maharashtra state.

Ninety percent of the city's businesses and shops were closed on Wednesday by a protest strike called by local political parties and social organisations, police commissioner Gulabrao Pol told AFP.

"There is no progress" on the investigation into his death, he added, saying no arrests had been made and the motive had not been determined.

The campaigner, who battled to promote progressive and scientific thought, had for several years been lobbying for Maharashtra state's assembly to pass legislation banning superstition and black magic.

Dabholkar, whom local media said was aged 71, also challenged some of India's self-styled Hindu "godmen" over their claims to have performed miracles.

He was cremated about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Pune in his home town of Satara late on Tuesday, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.


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