CBI seeks more time to look for weapon used in Dabholkar murder case
Dabholkar was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle near his residence in Pune when he was returning from a morning walk on August 20, 2013.Updated: Nov 22, 2019 15:59 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday sought more time from Bombay High Court to look for the weapons used to kill rationalist Narendra Dabholkar more than six years ago.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) Anil Singh informed the bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice RI Chagla that foreign experts had started a search for the weapon, which were thrown in the creek in Thane after Dabholkar’s murder, long ago.
However, they could carry out their search only for 12 days because of cyclonic conditions along the Mumbai coast. The government law officer said they will need at least 45 more days to look for the weapons.
Singh was responding to separate petitions filed by the families of Dabholkar and Govind Pansare raising concerns about the slow pace of the investigation by CBI.
Dabholkar was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle near his residence in Pune when he was returning from a morning walk on August 20, 2013.
Pansare and his wife were shot at in Kolhapur when they were out on a morning walk on February 16, 2015. The CPI politburo member succumbed to his injuries four days later at a private hospital in Mumbai. His wife survived the attack.
The federal agency is investigating Dabholkar’s murder since 2014, whereas Pansare’s killing is being probed by a special investigation team of the state police.
Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar have been named as the two shooters by the CBI in the Dabholkar’s murder case. Andure was arrested by CBI last year after his name cropped up during the interrogation of Kalaskar by the state’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS).
Kalaskar allegedly recorded a confessional statement during interrogation by the special investigation team (SIT) of Karnataka police probing the Gauri Lankesh murder case, saying he met advocate Sanjeev Punalekar in June 2018 and was advised by him to throw the weapons in his possession into the Thane creek.
However, it is not clear whether the weapons referred to are the ones used in Dabholkar murder or whether Punalekar was in the know of the information if they really were the murder weapons.
CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet against Punalekar and his associate Vikram Bhave in an Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) court on Wednesday in the case of the murder of Dabholkar.
It mentions the role of Punalekar’s role as a conspirator in the murder plan and Bhave as the person who helped the two shooters gather information of the area where Dabholkar was killed.