A local court in Kolhapur on Saturday extended by two more days the police custody of right wing Sanatan Sanstha activist Samir Gaikwad by two more days arrested in connection with the murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare early this year.
The prosecution said police needed more time to interrogate Gaikwad and sift through call data record obtained from multiple SIM cards and mobile handsets used by him.
Gaikwad was nabbed from adjoining Sangli on September 16 by SIT of Maharashtra police probing the Pansare murder case. He was sent to police custody till September 23 which was further extended by two more days. His latest remand extention will be till September 28.
Public prosecutor in the case Vishakha Bharte told PTI, “We sought Samir’s custody on the ground that police need a few more days to compile the voluminous data extracted from his 31 SIM cards and 23 mobile handsets.”
“Samir claims he ran a mobile repair shop. Customers generally leave behind their cellphones for repair and not SIM cards. So how come Samir was in possession of 31 SIM cards?” she said.
These SIM cards are registered in Mumbai, Thane, Goa, Panvel and Karnataka, among other places. This proves the acussed was involved in nefarious activities, Bharte said.
“We want to know where all the calls were made and to whom. We want all persons to be questioned in the presence of the accused and this is why we sought his additional custody which was granted.”
The prosecutor said the statement of Samir’s accomplice Ajay Prajapati had been recorded as a witness before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC “to make the case watertight”. A statement recorded under this section can be used during police inquiry or later during trial.
Pansare (82) and his wife Uma were shot by two youths near their home in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015. The veteran Communist leader died four days later in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, while his wife survived the attack.
Sanatan Sanstha, a Goa-headquartered right-wing outfit, has denied any role in Pansare’s killing but has admitted that Gaikwad was its worker.