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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Dabholkar case: no leads, but it’s not Mumbai underworld, say police

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Mumbai/Pune, August 22, 2013
First Published: 00:52 IST(22/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:56 IST(22/8/2013)

More than 36 hours after two assailants killed Dr Narendra Dabholkar, investigators had not made any breakthrough in the case. A six-member team from the Mumbai crime branch is now assisting the Pune police in the probe.

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A senior police official said: “No breakthrough has been achieved. While we are not ruling out anyone, the actual name is yet to emerge.” Investigators said they have not determined the “motive” behind the killing.

On Wednesday, the police interrogated seven activists associated with organisations that are part of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Jagruti Samiti, but they were let off in the absence of concrete leads. Sanjeev Punalekar, advocate for the Sanstha, said: “The police are randomly calling our members for interrogation without summons.”

The Mumbai crime branch team is helping the Pune police collate technical evidence. The team includes an expert sketch-maker who works as a consultant.

The police are studying cell phone activities in and around Omkareshwar, where Dabholkar was shot dead, for a clue about the suspects. It is also helping with analysis of CCTV footage, which shows the accused running away, but not the shooting.

Sources said the police have got part of the registration number of the black motorcycle that the accused used and an alert has been sounded to RTOs across the state.

Officials said they have asked their informers to check on the weapon used and look at the sketch of one of the suspects, released on Tuesday.

Dismissing speculation that it could be a contract killing executed by the underworld, the police said the use of a country-made weapon does not suggest the handiwork of Mumbai’s underworld, which has traditionally relied on sophisticated imported firearms.

Home minister RR Patil said Dabholkar’s murder could not be called intelligence failure.

Another team from Mumbai is likely to go to Pune on Thursday.

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