RETIRED Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) Manohar Kadam, who is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, has denied allegations of imparting training to shooters accused in the case.
Speaking from his Koregaon residence in Satara district of Maharashtra, Kadam said he was never associated with right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha which is suspected to be behind the murder of the Pune-based anti-superstition crusader.
“I have never been associated with the outfit. I don’t know any of its members and I have never spoken or met Sarang Akolkar or Virendra Tawade. I am available for probe and whenever I am summoned, I will tell the truth. Somebody is trying to malign me by linking me to Sanatan Sanstha,” Kadam said.
“So far, the agency hasn’t summoned me but whenever it does, I will be available,” he added.
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Kadam, who retired as a PSI with the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), was convicted of ordering the firing on rioters in Mumbai’s Ramabai Nagar in 1997 in which 10 people were killed and over 30 injured. In 2009, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Bombay High Court, subsequently, suspended his sentence.
According to sources in the central agency, investigations have revealed that Kadam was in touch with wanted accused Sarang Akolkar, suspected to be one of the shooters in the Dabholkar case. Sources claimed that Akolkar even facilitated a meet between arrested accused Tawade and Kadam. “Kadam will be examined on his role. The manner in which the three rationalists (Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Karnataka-based social activist M M Kalburgi) were shot, shows the shooters handled the weapons like sharpshooters. We suspect the module was imparted weapons’ training by a policeman,” said a senior official from the agency. “Our probe has revealed that the shooters were provided a week-long training at two places, Jat in Sangli and Ponda in Goa,” he added.
When Kadam was quizzed on Sarang and Tawade by The Indian Express, he insisted he did not know any of them and had never met or visited them at the outfit’s ashram. “I have never given any training to any member of the outfit. I have no contact whatsoever with them,” Kadam added.
Meanwhile, sources said they have established that the 2009 Goa blast module was behind the murder of at least the two Maharashtra-based rationalists. “We have evidence to show that Tawade had travelled to Kolhapur and stayed at a Sanatan Sanstha seeker’s home in Kolhapur which is just a few kilometres away from Pansare’s residence and we suspect that Tawade undertook this travel to conduct a reconnaissance,” added the official. “While we suspect that the same module is also behind Kalburgi’s murder, however, so far Call Data Records (CDRs) of the three phones recovered from Tawade do not suggest that he travelled to Karnataka,” the official added.
While the ENT specialist, hailed as the western commander of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, was the first arrest in the case on June 10, sources said more arrests are likely in the coming week.