Dabholkar murder case: Sanatan distributed pamphlets hailing ‘jihadi militant’ to fan fire, says CBI

CBI had arrested Sanatan Sanstha seeker Dr Virendra Tawde in the Dabholkar murder case on June 10.

Written by Chandan Shantaram Haygunde | Pune | Updated: October 5, 2016 11:52 am
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The charge-sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case says Sanatan Sanstha distributed pamphlets glorifying a “jihadi militant in Kashmir” in Hindu temples in Kolhapur, causing a riot-like situation in 2006.

CBI had arrested Sanatan Sanstha seeker Dr Virendra Tawde in the Dabholkar murder case on June 10. The probe agency has named Tawde along with Sanatan seekers Vinay Pawar, missing since 2009, Sarang Akolkar, an absconding accused in the October 2009 Goa blast case, as prime suspects. CBI claims Akolkar and Pawar shot Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 at 7.25 pm on the Omkareshwar bridge in Pune.

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CBI filed charge sheet against Tawde on September 8, giving details of “incriminating activities” of Sanatan Sanstha involving Tawde and his aides to show the enmity or hatred between Sanstha and Dabholkar.

The charge-sheet mentions an incident of June 2006 involving a Kolhapur native Irfan Attar. “As per media reports, Attar joined jihadi militants in Kashmir and was later killed during an encounter with the Indian security forces. After this incident, a meeting was held at Hindu Ekta Office in Kolhapur during which Madhukar Nazre, Kailash Kaingade and other Sanatan activists were present. They were worried that even after the aforesaid incident, Kolhapur city was silent. It was proposed by Nazre to publish pamphlets stating – “Irfan Attar Amar Rahe” and distribute those in Hindu temples so that people would be provoked against Muslims. Accordingly, Kaingade, who was running computer classes near Sai Mandir at Kalamba in Kolhapur, volunteered to take print-outs of the message “Irfan Attar Amar Rahe” on his computer system. Sanatan activists distributed these print-outs under the directions of Nazre in Jyotiba temple in Kolhapur. As the news spread in the city, there was riot- like situation as the people were agitated. Nazre gave a memorandum to police inspector Bharatkumar Rane in Kolhapur against unknown persons for distributing anti-national pamphlets in Hindu temples. In reality, Nazre himself had got the pamphlets published,” the CBI charge sheet says.

Sanatan Sanstha’s legal advisor and Tawde’s lawyer Sanjiv Punalekar said, “This incident mentioned in the charge sheet has absolutely nothing to do with the Dabholkar murder case. Also, there was no FIR registered with the police regarding this incident.”

The charge sheet also says Sanatan Sanstha believed Dabholkar was anti-Hindu and the force behind the Anti-Superstition Bill under consideration of the Maharashtra government. (The bill was passed after Dabholkar’s murder).

The charge sheet further states that Tawde had “personal differences/animosity” with Dabholkar which went back to 2002. It mentions an incident on December 12, 2002, in which Tawde opposed Dabholkar after a programme organised by Parit Caste on the death anniversary of Sant Gadge Maharaj where Dabholkar was a guest speaker.

The charge sheet also mentions how Tawde planned to oppose a rally by Communist Party of India, led by Govind Pansare, in Kolhapur city, against Kanchi Karveer Peeth Shankaracharya Shri Jayendra Saraswati regarding “Sankarraman murder case” in September 2004.

Apparently, Tawde was also arrested by Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Maharashtra police in Govind Pansare murder case. Just like Dabholkar, two unidentified persons had opened fire on Pansare and his wife Uma while the couple was returning home from morning walk on February 16, 2015. Pansare succumbed on February 20. Uma received a bullet injury, but survived.

Meanwhile, the Dabholkar case charge sheet also talks about a “provocative” article in “Sanatan Prabhat” published on August 18, 2014 (two days before the murder), along with a sketch captioned “Dharmdrohi Kayda Bargalala (Anti-Religion Bill falls flat),” which showed the three hands of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), Hindutvawadi and Warkari organisations stabbing the “demon” Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti with a flag pole.

The charge sheet also mentions a protest march carried out by Tawde and others after the 2006 Mumbai train blasts during which multiple Muslim shops near Shivaji statue in Kolhaour were vandalized. It also states “how as per Tawde’s suggestion, Nazre and other activists interrupted the activity of a Christian pastor Vijay Phillip who was luring Hindu women to embrace Christianity”.

Tawde’s lawyer Sanjiv Punalekar, however, said, “All these incidents mentioned in charge sheet have no relation with the murders. CBI is trying to show that Tawde is an aggressive activist. But that does not mean he is a killer. Tawde is innocent and has been falsely arrested to hide the real killers.”

From Dabholkar murder charge sheet: part-II