The CBI is likely to produce Dr Virendra Tawade, the Sanatan Sanstha activist arrested for the murder of Narendra Dabholkar, in Pune court on Thursday, when his custody expires. While CBI officials maintain that they will ask the court to extend their custody of Tawade, officials of the special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of fellow rationalist and leftist leader Govind Pansare said they will also seek Tawade’s custody, following reports of possible links between the two murders. According to a source, the SIT is likely to get custody of Tawade on Thursday.
CBI officials have said Dabholkar and Pansare may have been killed by the same people. Their interrogation of Tawade has led CBI officials to believe that Sanatan Sanstha members Rudra Patil and Sarang Akolkar were involved in Dabholkar’s murder too. Patil, a resident of Sangli, and Sarang Akolkar, a resident of Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune, are suspects in the 2009 Madgaon blast case. They have been on the run since their names cropped up in connection with the blast.
An official in the SIT said the team wants to interrogate Tawade for more clues in the Pansare murder case, in which Sanatan Sanstha activist Sameer Gaikwad has already been arrested. According to the official, the bullets fired at Pansare and Dabholkar have a close resemblance.
To ascertain if the same firearm was used in the murders of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kannada writer and rationalist MM Kalburgi, the CBI has decided to seek help from Scotland Yard. The state’s forensic laboratory has already confirmed that the bullets fired at Dabholkar and Pansare were from a 7.65mm revolver.