CBI names another shooter in Dabholkar murder case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday named Sharad Kalaskar as another shooter who was allegedly involved in rationalist Narendra Dabholkar’s murder.
Two men on a motorbike had shot dead Dabholkar, an anti-superstition activist, on August 20, 2013, when he was returning home after a morning walk in Pune.
The CBI named Kalaskar in a Pune court while seeking an extension to another alleged shooter Sachin Andure’s custody for questioning over Dabholkar’s murder.
Kalaskar was among the five people the Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) had earlier this month arrested in connection with the seizure of crude bombs and firearms in Nalasopara and other parts of Maharashtra.
“The CBI is trying to trace the motorcycle used in the offence by accused Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, another shooter in this case,” the CBI said in its submission before the court.
Judicial magistrate (first class) H R Jadhav extended Andure’s CBI custody until August 30.
Defence lawyer Prakash Salsingikar opposed the extension of the custody. He cited the CBI’s 2016 charge sheet in the Dabholkar case naming Virendra Tawade as a co-conspirator in the murder. The CBI had named Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar as the assailants, who had allegedly shot Dabholkar dead.
Tawde was a member of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an alleged offshoot of Sanatan Sanstha. “Is the CBI ready to say on record that the earlier investigation was wrong?” asked Salsingikar, while referring to the charge sheet.
“The investigation has established through oral and documentary evidence that Tawde, who harboured an enmity with Dabholkar owing to the ideological differences between the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti and the Sanatan Sanstha, criminally conspired with Pawar, Akolkar and others to murder Dabholkar,’’ Salsingikar said quoting the charge sheet. “In pursuance of the said conspiracy, Pawar and Akolkar shot dead Dabholkar…”
CBI officials said Akolkar and Pawar were named in the charge sheet based on their sketches an artist had drawn as per the accounts of the witnesses to Dabholkar’s murder.
CBI officials said they will take Kalaskar’s custody on Monday from the ATS.
“Kalaskar is currently in ATS’s custody in the Nalasopara explosives seizure case. The CBI will seek his custody in the Dabholkar case also as he and Andure need to be interrogated together,” said special public prosecutor Vijaykumar Dhakane.