The lawyer appearing for family members of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare submitted an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, seeking directions to authorities, probing both the killings to seek the assistance of “special interrogators”. Their lawyer Abhay Nevagi submitted an affidavit stating that though the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), that has been probing the killing of Dabholkar, had arrested some people in connection with the case, it had not been able to extract any confession or crucial information from them.
The petitioners told a bench of Justice S C Dharamadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre that the services of such interrogators were frequently sought by probe agencies in Western nations. They have special skills and guidelines for interrogating the accused in tough cases, the petitioners said. They also said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has such special interrogators. The bench directed both the CBI, and the Special Investigation Team, which is probing the killing of Pansare, to examine the suggestions made by Nevagi, which included details about how radicalisation takes place and use of technology while conducting such investigations. It also directed both agencies to file progress reports on their respective probes by April 19, the next date of hearing in the case.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the family members of Dabholkar and Pansare seeking that the court monitor the probe in both cases. Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune while on his morning walk. Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015, in Kolhapur and succumbed to his injuries on February 20.