A day after arresting Virendra Tawade, a member of pro-Hindutva outfit Sanatan Sanstha, in connection with the August 2013 murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, the CBI on Saturday told a court in Pune that he was one of the key conspirators in the case.
Tawade, a doctor, was arrested by the CBI from Panvel on Friday evening, days after the probe agency searched his residence on June 1. On Saturday, Tawade was produced at a Pune court, which remanded him in CBI custody till June 16.
Seeking Tawade’s custody for seven days, the CBI told the court they wanted to probe the exchange of emails between him and other suspects, especially Sarang Akolkar, who also belongs to Sanatan Sanstha and is an absconding accused in the 2009 Goa blast case with a Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued by the Interpol against him.
CBI also told the court that Tawade had a black motorcycle and they wanted to investigate whether it was used for the crime.
To back its claim, the probe agency submitted before the court a statement given under section 164 of the CrPC by a witness from Kolhapur, who had reportedly said that Tawade had spoken against Dabholkar during a function in Kolhapur.
CBI sources said the similarities between the murders of Dabholkar in Pune, CPI leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur and Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi in Dharwad were being examined.
Before the CBI took over the Dabholkar murder case in 2015, the Pune police had arrested alleged arms dealer Manish Nagori and Vilas Khandelwal in the case on January 20, 2014.
However, the family members of the slain activist had maintained that they suspected the role of pro-Hindutva outfits behind the murder. On Saturday, Dabholkar’s daughter Mukta said Tawade’s arrest was a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, the Sanatan Sanstha defended Tawade, saying he had been framed.