Arrested for Dabholkar, Lankesh murders, Amol Kale also named in Pansare casehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/arrested-for-dabholkar-lankesh-murders-amol-kale-also-named-in-pansare-case-5448745/

Arrested for Dabholkar, Lankesh murders, Amol Kale also named in Pansare case

On the morning of February 16, 2015, Pansare and his wife Uma were shot at by two bike-borne assailants while they were returning from their morning walk, in Kolhapur. Pansare succumbed to his injuries four days later.

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Govind Pansare, a rationalist, and his wife were shot while on morning walk in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015. (Source: File)

Amol Kale, one of the alleged key conspirators in the murders of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar and journalist Gauri Lankesh, has been named as an accused in the murder case of veteran communist leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur.

Kale (37), a resident of Maharashtra’s Chinchwad, was till now in custody of Karnataka Police. He was handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT)of Maharashtra CID Wednesday. He was put under arrest and produced before a court in Kolhapur, which remanded him to police custody till November 22.

Police have said that Kale was earlier a member of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), which is affiliated to the Sanatan Sanstha. Read| SIT seeks access to weapons seized by ATS from accused

Special Public Prosecutor in the Pansare murder case, Shivaji Rane, said, “The probe in the murder cases of Dr Dabholkar and Gauri Lankesh has led to information about Kale’s role in the Pansare murder case too. He was handed over to the SIT and produced before a court Thursday. His custodial interrogation may give us more names and information about the conspiracy to murder Govind Pansare.”

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On the morning of February 16, 2015, Pansare and his wife Uma were shot at by two bike-borne assailants while they were returning from their morning walk, in Kolhapur. Pansare succumbed to his injuries four days later.

Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, while Lankesh was shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017.

Read| Gun used for murder was at arms training site too, forensics say

Kale is the fifth person to be named as an accused in the Pansare murder case. In 2016, SIT had arrested Sameer Gaikwad and later that year, the investigating officials also took custody of ENT surgeon and Sanatan Sanstha activist Virendra Tawade, who, according to CBI, was the mastermind of Dabholkar’s murder too. The SIT later named Vinay Pawar and Sarang Akolkar as the two men who shot Pansare, and named them as accused in the case.

In a CBI chargesheet against Tawade in the Dabholkar murder case, filed in September 2016, the agency had given details of “email conversations” between Tawde and Akolkar, who is also a member of Sanatan Sanstha. Akolkar is also wanted in connection with the 2009 Madgaon bomb blast.