CBI arrests key suspect in rationalist Dabholkar’s murder case

Last week, the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad had announced the arrests of three men affiliated to radical Hindu outfits from Nallasopara and Satara.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: August 18, 2018 11:09:42 pm
Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen at V R Shinde Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013. Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen at V R Shinde Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013.

A key suspect in the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday, five years after the 67-year-old was shot dead in Pune. Sachin Prakasrao Andure, who is believed to be one of the shooters who fired at the MANS founder, was arrested from Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

The arrest comes weeks after the Bombay High Court pulled up Maharashtra’s Special Investigation Agency (SIT) and CBI probing the murders of Dabholkar and another rationalist Govind Pansare and asked if there was a “lack of co-ordination” during the probe. “Is there a lack of coordination, or are the authorities before us restricting their probe to merely pursuing mobile phone records,” the court had asked the agencies, adding that the latter needed to adopt the same degree of seriousness and promptness like Karnataka Police which is probing the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen at the V R Shinde Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013. Last week, the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad had announced the arrests of three men affiliated to radical Hindu outfits from Nallasopara and Satara. One of them was said to be a sympathiser of the Sanatan Sanstha.

On June 10, 2016, the CBI had arrested alleged Sanstha seeker, Dr Virendra Tawde, on June 10, 2016. Along with Tawde, CBI named Vinay Pawar, who has been absconding since 2009, and Sarang Akolkar, who is also wanted in connection with the October 2009 Goa blast case. According to CBI officials, Akolkar and Pawar had shot Dabholkar.

Read | Five years since Dabholkar’s murder: Organisation asks govt to clear stand on Sanatan Sanstha

Meanwhile, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the rationalist, MANS state secretary Milind Deshmukh announced to hold ‘Jawab Do’ protests in Pune on August 20. The family members of Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare, Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh are likely to participate in the protest. Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, is also expected to attend one of the events.

MANS activists will also organise a candlelight march on August 19. Similar protests will be held in Delhi, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh on August 20.

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