Two men accused of the murder of activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar on Friday applied for bail before a special court in Pune. The bail applications of the accused, Dr Virendra Tawade and Vikram Bhave, will be heard on July 13.
The CBI had first arrested ENT surgeon and Sanatan Sanstha member Tawde in June 2016, alleging that he was the mastermind of the conspiracy to kill Dabholkar.
In the chargesheet against Tawade, CBI had mentioned that Sanstha activists Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar had shot dead Dabholkar. But later, the CBI named accused Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, who were arrested in August 2018, as the ones who allegedly opened fire at Dabholkar on August 20, 2013.
Kalaskar is also an accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. Vikram Bhave and advocate Sanjiv Punalekar were arrested by the CBI in May 2019, on the basis of a statement by Kalaskar.
According to CBI, Kalaskar had visited the chamber of advocate Punalekar in Mumbai, where his assistant Bhave was also present. CBI has alleged that Kalaskar told Punalekar about his role in the murder of Dabholkar, following which the lawyer asked him to destroy the firearms used in the murders of Dabholkar and Lankesh.
Then on July 23, 2018, Kalaskar allegedly dismantled four country-made pistols (took out barrels and sliders containing firing pins) and threw them from a bridge in Thane creek. Punalekar was granted bail in July last year, and Bhave’s bail application was rejected by the special court in Pune.
Bhave and Tawade have now again applied for bail. The CBI will be filing its response on their bail application.
Meanwhile, in the Dabholkar murder case, CBI has also arrested three others — Amol Kale, Amit Digwekar and Rajesh Bangera — who are accused in the murder of Bengaluru-based journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh in September 2017.
Investigators have alleged that Kale, a resident of Pimpri-Chinchwad, was a key conspirator in the Dabholkar murder case while Bangera allegedly gave firearms training to Andure and Kalaskar.
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