The special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of communist leader Govind Pansare Thursday told a court in Kolhapur that Sanatan Sanstha seeker Dr Virendra Tawde was a key conspirator in the case. The SIT also told the court that an eyewitness in the case had identified Sanatan Sanstha seeker Vinay Pawar as the person loitering around the crime scene before the murder. The SIT thus suspects that Pawar is also involved in the crime.
Two persons had opened fire at Pansare and his wife Uma when the couple was returning home from a morning walk on February 16, 2015. Pansare had died while undergoing treatment at the hospital on February 20. Uma had received a bullet injury, but survived.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Tawde on June 10 this year to probe his role in the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar who was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. The SIT probing the Pansare murder had earlier arrested Sanatan Sanstha seeker Sameer Gaikwad on December 14, 2015, and got Tawde’s custody last week to probe his involvement in the case.
The court had remanded Tawde to police custody till September 8. Accordingly on Thursday, the SIT produced him in the court again. After hearing the arguments of special public prosecutor Shivaji Rane, the court extended Tawde’s custody till September 16. Police are probing whether Tawde’s two-wheeler was used in the crime.
On Tuesday, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Tawde in the Dabholkar murder case. The CBI suspects that Tawde is the prime conspirator and Sanatan Sanstha activists Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar had shot at Dabholkar.