THE GUNMEN who shot at and killed anti-superstition crusader Dr Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in 2013 were trained by some men good at handling weapons, arrested accused Dr.Virendra Tawade has reportedly revealed during his interrogation, sources in the CBI said. Sources said the shooters were trained a few months before the rationalist’s murder on August 20, 2013.
“The shooters did not miss the target. This indicates they had received formal training in handling of weapons. During his interrogation, Tawade has revealed that the shooters were properly trained,” a senior official from the agency told The Indian Express.
“We stumbled on this information while studying the Call Data Records (CDRs) of the three mobile phones recovered from him during our June 1 searches. The CDR shows that Tawade was in touch with a few policemen. We suspect two of them imparted the training and the third policeman alerted Tawade on the police’s action against the outfit,” the official added.
“We will be soon be questioning them in connection with the case,” the official added.
Sources claim that while the first attempt to eliminate Dabholkar was hatched in 2009, it was postponed owing to the shift in priority of the module to carry out a blast in Goa on the eve of Diwali in 2010. “All the wanted accused in the Goa blast case were allotted specific roles and we have evidence to show that the same module was behind Dabholkar’s murder. A meeting to finalise the plan was held in Pune in June 2013. Around the same time, the weapon was procured by Tawade and recce was carried by Sarang Akolkar,” the official said.
CBI sleuths plan to question Tawade’s wife Dr Nidhi Tawade next week.
“Nidhi had participated in many programmes that the outfit has held against Dr Dabholkar and had also accompanied her husband to Kolhapur in 2007, where Tawade and other Sanatan members had barged into a programme organised by Dr Dabholkar. Dr Nidhi, as per a witness, was an active member of the Sanstha till 2008,” the official further added.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the agency received the mirror images of the hard disc that they have recovered from the Sanstha’s Panvel office from the Mumbai FSL as they want to analyse it themselves.