The police team probing the murder of veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare has filed an application before the court in Kolhapur seeking permission to conduct a brain-mapping test on Sameer Gaikwad, the only suspect arrested so far in this case. The hearing on the application is likely on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the court on Monday remanded Gaikwad to magisterial custody.
On February 16 this year, two assailants had opened fire at Pansare and his wife Uma while they were returning home from a morning walk. Pansare later succumbed to bullet injuries.
On September 16, the special investigation team probing the case arrested Gaikwad based on information gathered during electronic surveillance of his cellphone calls.
The police produced Gaikwad before the court on Monday seeking extension of his custody by two more days.
Special public prosecutor Chandrakant Budhale said they had filed an application for brain-mapping of the suspect. “The court accepted the application. Now, Gaikwad will have to submit his say by September 29,” he said.
While seeking an extension of Gaikwad’s police remand, the prosecutor said two cellphones were recovered from Gaikwad when he was arrested and 23 more were seized from his home along with 31 SIM cards. He said the probe had revealed that Jaykumar Prajapati and a Sanatan sadhak, Shraddha Pawar from Ponda in Goa, had given their cellphones to Gaikwad for repairs through Nilesh Chitale and the police wanted to probe these details. Also, he said, police wanted to investigate whether Rudra Patil, a Sanatan Sanstha worker wanted in connection with with Goa blast of October 2009, had any links with the Pansare murder case.
Budhale told the court that since police teams were busy in Ganesh immersion bandobast, Gaikwad’s police custody could be extended by two days.
However, defence lawyers argued that police had no new grounds for seeking extension of Gaikwad’s custody.
In the end, the court remanded Gaikwad to magisterial custody.
The next hearing on the matter will take place on October 9.
While the police have claimed that Gaikwad spoke about Pansare’s murder over phone with his friend Jyoti Kamble, the suspect has maintained he spoke about Pansare “jokingly.”