Foreign experts, divers to look for Dabholkar murder weapon in Thane creek, CBI tells court
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday informed the Bombay high court that it has called upon experts from abroad to search for the weapon used in the murder of rationalists Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and Comrade Govind Pansare. The weapon was apparently disposed of in Thane creek. The search operations are expected to start from Monday.
Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, at about 7.20 am by two unidentified persons aged about 25 to 30 years when he was on his morning walk on the footpath of Omkareshwar Bridge behind Balgandharva Rangmandir in Pune. His attackers then fled on a motorcycle
The division bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice Gautam Patel was informed by the CBI that it had obtained clearances from all the authorities concerned to undertake the search for the weapon used in the murder of the activist in 2013.
The court was hearing petition filed by Mukta Dabholkar, daughter of slain rationalist Dr. Dabholkar, seeking a court supervised and expeditious investigation.
The CBI further added that due to the magnitude of area to be covered for the search in Thane creek it had called for assistance from foreign experts and divers who had agreed and would be arriving in the city by the weekend. CBI submitted that the search operations would get underway by Monday.
Earlier on July 5, the CBI counsel had informed the court that though the environmental board had given them the clearance to search for the country-made pistol, a platform had to be constructed on the creek and the agency had to get the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) authority’s clearance. In light of these submissions, CBI submitted that the search was stalled.
Irked by the submission, the bench directed the state and environment departments to extend all help to CBI to ensure that the search operations are launched at the earliest.