Sanatan Sanstha activists Rudra Patil and Vinay Pawar, suspects in the 2009 Margao blast and on the run for the last seven years, were found to be signatories on cheques issued from various accounts maintained by the Sanatan Sanstha, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said.
The CBI, while seeking extension of Virendra Tawade’s custody in the Dabholkar murder case, submitted to a Pune court on Monday that Patil and Pawar had signed some of the cheques for Sanstha’s 119 accounts in different banks.
The CBI officials said they want to probe how Patil and Pawar were able to sign cheques despite being on the run. The officials added they had identified 169 mobile numbers associated with Sanatan Sanstha activists, which they want to probe.
The Judicial Magistrate First Class VB Gulave Patil on Monday rejected the CBI’s plea and remanded Tawade to 14 days judicial custody. It later gave the Kolhapur police’s special investigation team permission to question Tawade in connection with the murder of leftist Govind Pansare.
Following the interrogation of Tawade, the CBI suspects that Patil, Pawar, Sarang Akolkar, Jaiprakash Hegde and Prashant Juvekar — other members of Sanatan Sanstha — may be linked to the killing of Dabholkar. Besides Patil and Pawar, Akolkar, Hegde and Juvekar are also suspects in Margao (Goa) blasts and are absconding. The CBI, while seeking Tawade’s custody, said it wanted to probe if money withdrawn from some of the 119 bank accounts of the Sanstha was used in the Dabholkar case. The CBI believes Akolkar and Patil could be the assailants in the Dabholkar case.
Raju added a hard disk had been recovered from a Sanatan Sanstha office and was being scrutinised. Defence lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar while opposing the CBI custody of Tawade, said the agency was finding excuses to get his client’s custody. “The CBI has no evidence against my client despite having him in their custody for 11 days. With no evidence in hand, the CBI is now finding petty excuses to retain his custody,” said Punalekar.
Tawade, an ENT specialist, was arrested by CBI on June 10 from his Panvel residence.