The Bombay High Court on Thursday told the CBI and state CID to seek assistance of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in order to access the latest technology, to investigate the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. The observations of the High Court came after the CID claimed that it had identified some new persons as accused in the 2015 murder of Pansare but was still tracing their whereabouts. “The agencies are finding it difficult to trace them because some of them have changed their residential addresses, identities and phone numbers,” Ashok Mundargi, special counsel for the CID, told the court.
Mundargi also apprised the court about the progress made in the investigation into the Pansare murder. “There are five different teams, apart from the CBI… private individuals have also been roped in,” he said. In a sealed envelope, he submitted a progress report on the investigation. The court said the CID must “outsmart” the accused.
In the 2013 murder case of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, the CBI informed the HC that they had found that many of the accused had changed their phone numbers and were accessing other numbers illegally. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said the agency was working on clues on the location of the accused from phone conversations. Justice S C Dharmadhikari then asked the investigating agencies to ensure they had access to the latest technology. “Do not shy away from getting the latest technology on the grounds of lack of funds,” the judge said. The court said it would pass necessary orders for provision of funds to the investigating agencies if they so inform the court.
Abhay Nevagi, advocate for the families of Pansare and Dabholkar, told the court that mobile tracking technology that provides the exact location of the person using the phone was easily available. Nevagi claimed the technology, developed by an Indian, was being used by Scotland Yard. Justice Dharmadhikari asked Nevagi to file an affidavit providing information on the name of the person who created the technology, its use and way to access it.
The High Court also directed the agencies to submit reports on the progress made in the two cases by March 1. Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune while Pansare was shot on February 16, 2015, in Kolhapur. He died four days later.