THE FAMILY of slain activist Govind Pansare on Friday filed a plea before the Bombay High Court, seeking that the investigating officer of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder case be changed, and a “seasoned IPS officer” be appointed instead.
The division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice R I Chagla has directed the SIT to file its reply to the application during the next hearing.
In the plea, Pansare’s family said it was not satisfied with the manner in which the probe was led by the investigating officer. Pansare, a senior CPI-I leader, was shot at on February 16, 2015, near his residence in Kolhapur by unknown assailants.
He succumbed to injuries on February 20.
The family’s lawyer, Abhay Nevagi, said while the probe agency has made some arrests in the case, it has still not traced Pansare’s shooters. The plea also stated that some men, who have been named witnesses in the case, were booked as accused in the other cases, including the murder cases of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar and journalist Gauri Lankesh, and the Nallasopara arms haul case.
While this was legally permissible, this may become an issue when witnesses have to depose, Nevagi said.
Pansare’s family has sought the appointment of a “seasoned IPS officer” as the investigating officer.
Meanwhile, the CBI, which is probing the Dabholkar murder case, sought more time to find the weapon used by the assailants to kill the activist on August 20, 2013, in Pune.
The CBI had previously submitted that the alleged assailants, who are both in custody, disposed of the weapon in the Thane creek and a search was on to find it.
The agency told the court on Friday that due to rain and cyclonic warnings along the Mumbai coast, the search could not be completed and sought further time of 45 days. The High Court granted the additional time to the CBI.
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