Narendra Dabholkar murder case: CBI arrests shooter after five years

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New Delhi | August 19, 2018 12:53 PM

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday arrested one of the two alleged shooters involved in the killing of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar.

The arrest in the case comes before the fifth anniversary of Dabholkar’s killing on August 20, 2013 in Pune. (File photo: PTI)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday arrested one of the two alleged shooters involved in the killing of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar. “Sachin Prakasrao Andure of Aurangabad was arrested in the Dabholkar murder case. He was allegedly one of the shooters who fired at Dr Narendra Dabholkar. Investigation is continuing,” the CBI said in a press release. The Bombay High Court had, in May 2014, handed over the Dabholkar murder case to the CBI.

The arrest in the case comes before the fifth anniversary of Dabholkar’s killing on August 20, 2013 in Pune. The CBI arrested the alleged main shooter in the Dabholkar case, identified as Sachin Prakasrao Andure, a resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, from Pune. Dabholkar’s killing and communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare’s killing in a similar manner in February 2015 had sent shockwaves throughout the state.

Andure was arrested on a tip-off from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which had last week arrested three persons for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to carry out blasts in the state.

The arrest comes after the High Court pulled up the central agency and the SIT for the shoddy investigation. On June 10, 2016, the CBI has arrested one Virendra Tawde. The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Virendra Tawde under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the IPC, among other charges. Tawde was allegedly the mastermind of the killing, the CBI had said.

Meanwhile, Sanjeev Punalekar, lawyer who represented Sanatan Sanstha members case earlier, said: “As of now, I do not know whether this person named Andure is a member of the Sanatan Sanstha. His arrest raises serious questions about the past arrests. In its earlier chargesheet, CBI said Akolkar and Pawar are the two assailants. Now this third name has come up… If the earlier arrests are wrong, who is responsible for the wrongful arrests.”

Mukta Dabholkar, Dr Dabholkar’s daughter, said that arrest was a crucial development. “Had similar action been taken in the past, killings of other rationalists could have been prevented,” PTI quoted Mukta as saying, in an apparent reference to killings of communist leader Govind Pansare, Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh.

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