The Special Investigation Team or SIT probing the Govind Pansare murder is relying on the statement of a crucial witness who has testified the weapon connection between Virendrasingh Tawde, a doctor by profession and a Sanatan Sanstha rank holder, and Pansare’s shooters, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar.
The statement of the witness along with the statement of Pansare’s wife, who identified the two assailants, have helped in finding the link between the the conspirators and the shooters.
The SIT fully relies on the ‘Who Killed Karkare’ event designed and planned by Pansare as the turning point in the conspiracy to kill him, with Tawde and the co-accused finally taking a call to target Pansare, after he announced events at 140 locations, exposing the role of Hindu fundamentalists and outfits like Sanatan Sanstha’s corrupt ideology. The SIT says it was this announcement by Pansare to expose Sanatan Sanstha that provoked the conspirators to make the final move.
While Pansare’s wife has identified the assailants, it is her testimony that gives weight to the conspiracy and links between the Pansare murderers and conspirators behind the Goa blast, hinting at a larger scheme behind these attacks and blasts. Vinay Pawar, who had gone absconding since the Goa blast, finally emerged as the pillion, on the bike which was used by Sarang Akolkar, as they opened fire on Pansare.
Tawde came in touch with Dr Jayant Athawle, from Sanatan Sanstha in 1998 and was “heavily influenced” by the Dharmasabha gathering, following which he decided to be a full-time member of the outfit.
According to the chargesheet since 2000, he was appointed as the Kolhapur district nodal for the outfit and soon shifted to the Sanstha’s property in 2005 with his wife. He was the unit head for Kolhapur between 2002 and 2005, and was always leading the programmes. In 2005, he soon got promoted and held a state level post in the outfit.
Between 2012 and October 2014, he soon shifted to the Panvel office of the outfit along with his family. The chargesheet also has shown the association between the two accused, Sameer Gaikwad and accused number two Virendrasingh Tawde through the several meetings between them. On the day of the murder of Pansare, Tawde’s mobile calls have been traced to the phones of Gaikwad’s relatives. Further, Tawde is shown as a friend of the Madgao blast absconding accused, Rudragounda Patil, and is shown to have been in constant touch with Gaikwad.
The probe, SIT claims has found evidence which prove the murder was designed to eliminate any such evil men who opposed their dream of a separate nation and their ideologue.
The SIT also claims that Tawde through the Hindu Janajagruti Manch, and full time sadhaks like Sameer Gaikwad, Vinay Pawar (accused number 3), and wanted accused Sarang Akolkar aspired and conspired towards this goal, with a roadmap titled “Durjanancha Naash (destroying the evil)” being planned since 2007.
Murdered rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and Pansare were both against such anti-superstitious thoughts and openly opposed the outfit’s ideology and also practices. Through several literature-the investigators have again pieced several narratives in which the accused opposed the two rationalists.
After Dabholkar’s death when the outfit saw Pansare continued his efforts towards the outfit — they identified him as a durjan. On December 30, 2014, an event titled ‘Who Killed Karkare’ formed a crucial event in the line of events leading to Pansare’ death, according to SIT. Pansare chose to outline action against Sanatan through 140 locations in the state, chosen based on the areas where the outfit has its influence. The chargesheet points that Vinay Pawar, an accomplice and active participant in the Goa blast, and Gaikwad and Tawde were known to the team behind the Goa blasts. Further, the SIT has claimed that six accused, including the accused in Pansare case, took arms and explosives training in 2001 and all were in touch with Tawde through out.
Pansare’s wife now has indicated all the occasions when the two assailants were spotted—at the time of the attack, during the course of the days before the attack and also hours before they were shot.
Accused number 4, Sarang Akolkar, a full-time sadhak since 2009 is also a wanted in the Goa blast. It was he who was responsible for the firearms to be transported to Kolhapur. Akolkar arrived in Kolhapur with wanted accused Vinay Pawar to find out about comrade Pansare’s daily routine, on the instructions of Tawde. He had a role along with Vinay Pawar, in the firing on Pansare and his wife Uma Pansare on February 16, 2015.
The role of Sameer Gaikwad, Virendrasingh Tawde, Vinay Pawar and Sarang Akolkar in the crime is established by a forensic analysis of the gun used to fire upon Pansare and his wife.
The objective of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti to establish a Hindu rashtra and a divine kingdom and their belief in punishing non-believers with death establishes that the accused hatched a plot to attack Pansare and his wife.
The four men are charged with hatching a criminal conspiracy, committing, murder, attempt to murder, common intention under the Indian Penal Code and under the Arms Act. The police have sought permission from the court to file a supplementary chargesheet once it arrests Pawar and Akolkar. The police have also sought permission to continue its investigation against Tawde once it arrests his accomplices.