Suspect in Pansare murder could have links with Goa blast accused | india | Hindustan Times
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Suspect in Pansare murder could have links with Goa blast accused

Investigators probing the murder of Maharashtra rationalist Govind Pansare are trying to establish the prime suspect’s links with an accused in the 2009 Goa blast who is a member of the Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu right-wing group.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2015 00:16 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times
Govind Pansare murder,Maharashtra,Right-wing
The special team constituted to crack Pansare’s murder suspects accused Sameer Gaikwad’s links with the murder of Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi. (Kunal Patil/ HT File Photo)

Investigators probing the murder of Maharashtra rationalist Govind Pansare are trying to establish the prime suspect’s links with an accused in the 2009 Goa blast who is a member of the Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu right-wing group.

The 32-year-old suspect, Sameer Vishnu Gaikwad, was arrested after six months of surveillance as investigating agencies looked for clues to crack the murder of veteran communist leader Pansare who was shot on February 16 and died in hospital four days later.

The Sanstha had accepted that Gaikwad has been its full-time associate for the past few years but denied his role in the murder. “Even police are not sure about his exact role in the case,” Sanstha spokesperson Sandip Shinde said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing the Goa bombing which accidently killed two Sanstha men, interrogated Gaikwad on Monday. The NIA team is trying to find out if he has any links with Goa blast accused Rudra Patil, a member of the Sanstha, who is at large.

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Gaikwad was apparently in touch with Patil before the murder in Kolhapur. He was arrested on the basis of his call records, which showed him sometimes making references to Pansare’s murder during conversations with a woman.

Like the other Maharashtra-based rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was killed in August 2013, Pansare too had his run-ins with right-wing Hindu groups for his independent views on social and religious matters.

Last month, senior communist ideologue MM Kalburgi was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karnataka.

The special investigating team, constituted to crack Pansare’s murder, suspects Gaikwad’s links with the other two cases as well.