Dabholkar murder case: Environment clearance hindering CBI investigation
A pending clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has stalled the investigation in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar who was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013.
According to advocate Abhay Nevgi, justice SC Dharmadhikari of the Bombay High Court directed attorney general Ashuthosh Kumbhakoni to mediate between the MCZMA and the central bureau of investigation (CBI) in order to facilitate required clearances.
The CBI, probing the murder, could not search for weapons in Thane creek for want of necessary permissions. Sharad Kalaskar, one of the two men named in the supplementary chargesheet in the case as a shooter, had allegedly recorded a confessional statement while he was in the custody of the Karnataka police who are investigating the Gauri Lankesh murder. In the statement, Kalaskar had stated that on the advice of a lawyer related to the Sanatan Sanstha, he had thrown parts of weapons used in various murders, in the Thane creek while on his way to Nalasopara.
One of the CBI theories is that the weapons included that used in the Dabholkar as well as Lankesh murders.
The CBI hired the services of a company Envitech Middle East, based in Abu Dabhi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to recover the weapons from the creek as a part of the investigation monitored by the HC. The company will undertake search and recovery process and a narrow, vertical structure needs to be built at the banks of the Thane creek as a part of the process.
“The HC judge said that the request for a court order by the authority is absurd. The court has asked the attorney general to mediate in the matter,” said advocate Nevgi.
The investigation is led by assistant superintendent of police SR Singh.
Earlier, the MCZMA had failed to show up at a meeting scheduled for discussion on the matter with the CBI officials in June. Singh was present during the hearing along with additional superintendent of police Tirupati Kakade of Maharashtra police who is investigating the Govind Pansare murder that took place in 2015.
Advocate Nevgi is representing Dabholkar’s son and daughter Hamid and Mukta Dabholkar in a Public Interest litigation (PIL) related to the case filed in the HC.