The family of slain rationalist Govind Pansare has written to the state government, seeking appointment of a Special Public Prosecutor to handle the trial.
“This letter to you is not merely for the expression of anguish, but is a sincere appeal by us that the trial of the persons accused of this heinous crime must be full-fledged, unflinching and dedicated. We are, therefore, appealing to you that a Special Public Prosecutor of high repute and a proven track record of commitment to justice against all odds, must be appointed to conduct the trial of the killers of Shri Pansare,” said a letter written to the Home Department by the family of Govind Pansare.
The letter stated that the murder of comrade Pansare was a “deep criminal conspiracy” and much could be brought to light if the trial was conducted with the necessary diligence.
“We have due respect for the abilities of the public prosecutor currently handling the trial. However, we again emphasise that the trial is one which has far-reaching implications, and hence, there is a need to appoint a senior prosecutor. The trial is also of far greater public importance than a usual murder trial, considering the fact that a large section of the society greatly look up to the legacy of Shri Pansare,” the letter stated.
The letter also referred to a suggestion made by the High Court which was hearing a writ petition in the case, where it spoke about the need for the appointment of a special public prosecutor.
The family had last week written a letter Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting him to appoint the state Attorney General to personally challenge the transfer application of the accused Sameer Gaikwad.
Sameer Vishnu Gaikwad, the lone accused so far in the murder of Pansare, had filed a petition seeking the transfer of his case from Kolhapur to Mumbai. The government had said that it would challenge the petition.
“It is evident that the government is taking this transfer petition very seriously. We are, accordingly, requesting that the same degree of caution be exercised in the trial itself and that a special public prosecutor should be appointed to conduct it,” said the letter.
Two persons had opened fire on Pansare and his wife Uma while the couple was returning home from their morning walk on February 16.
Pansare died four days later during treatment. His wife received a bullet injury. On September 16, the special investigation team probing the case arrested Gaikwad as a suspect, based on electronic surveillance of his cell phone calls. He was booked under sections 302, 307, 206, 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Arms Act.