Narendra Dabholkar murder case: CBI says Sharad Kalaskar confessed to crime
The Central bureau of information (CBI) told a Pune court on Tuesday that one of the key accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, Sharad Kalaskar, had confessed to killing the rationalist during a forensic psychological analysis.
The claim came during the bail hearing of Sanjiv Punalekar, a member and advocate of the Hindu extremist organisation Sanatan Sanstha, in the court of additional sessions judge Ravindra Pande. The CBI opposed the bail of Punalekar, who was arrested in May. The Sanstha has denied all charges.
Without giving any details of the analysis, the agency said Kalaskar also accepted to meeting Punalekar in June 2018 and destroying weapons’ on the latter’s advice.Kalaskar has been identified by the CBI in its chargesheet as one of the shooters who gunned down the 67-year-old Dabholkar on August 20, 2013, while the rationalist was out for a morning walk atop the Omkareshwar bridge in Pune.
The forensic psychological analysis -- which the Central Bureau of Investigation claimed was conducted in September 2018 by Nilesh Bhatu Wagh, a psychologist and senior scientific officer of the Central forensic laboratory, Navi Mumbai -- was part of the investigation and its findings are clubbed with the chargesheet against Kalaskar and Sachin Andure, which was filed in February 2019.
But Punalekar’s counsel, Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, cited a Supreme Court order and said the assessment of the analysis could not be considered as evidence. “You know as well as I do that the evidentiary value is highly limited,” he added. When Punalekar was arrested, the Goa-based organisation had called it a conspiracy.