Govind Pansare
Communist leader Govind Pansare.Facebook/ Govind Pansare

The Kolhapur Police have detained five suspects in connection with the attack on veteran leftist leader Govind Pansare and his wife Uma on Monday when they were returning home from their routine morning walk.

Pansare is an active Communist leader who vigorously led the protest against road toll tax.

The criminals shot five bullets at the couple who are undergoing treatment at Aster Aadhar hospital at present.

Dr Ulhas Damle informed that Uma, who had undergone a skull surgery on Monday evening, is out of danger, while Pansare's state is still critical as he has lost a lot of blood. Pansare was shot on his neck, armpit and right leg near the knee.

"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," Dr Damle was quoted as saying.

The incident reportedly took place between 9.15 am to 9.20 am near the Ideal Housing Society, located a few metres away from the couple's home at Toma colony of Sagar Mal locality.

According to reports, Pansare was the main target of the gunmen who came on a speeding bike and shot three bullets at him. Eye witness Shashikant Jog took 78-year-old Pansare and his wife to the hospital with the help of a neighbor, Mangesh Kadam.

Jog was washing his scooter at the time of the incident. Initially, he assumed the sound of bullets were just firecrackers, but on looking across the street he saw the couple lying in a pool of blood. Pansare and his wife were immediately rushed to the hospital.

Political leaders of the Maharashtra state assembly condemned the incident. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said around ten police teams have been formed to probe into the matter and nab the culprits at the earliest.

"This incident is condemnable and shocking. I have sought information. He is critical. Let us pray for his recovery," Fadnavis said.