The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it has roped in a foreign agency to help find the weapons used in his murder. The agency has also got a clearance from Maharashtra environment ministry to conduct the search operation in the depths of the Arabian sea.
CBI counsel and Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told a bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Patel that experts from the agency will reach India tomorrow, i.e. August 11, 2019, adding that the entire task will take 30 days to be completed. Singh also informed the court that the weapons are suspected to be dumped by the accused in the Thane creek following the murder of Dabholkar.
The bench was hearing petitions filed by the kin of Dabholkar and late leftist leader Govind Pansare, seeking that the court monitors the probe into both the murder cases.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Maharashtra government, which is probing the Pansare case, told the high court that its officers could not reach the court due to heavy rainfall and flooding in Kolhapur. The high court, therefore, has fixed the matter for further hearing on September 16.
Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013 while returning from a morning walk in Pune. Pansare, on the other hand, was shot at on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and succumbed to his injuries a few days later.
Meanwhile, advocate Sanjeev Punalekar, an accused in Dabholkar murder case, has been charged with helping Sharad Kalskar, who had allegedly shot the rationalist, in dismantling the weapons. However, Punalekar was granted bail by Pune sessions court last month on a surety amount of Rs 30,000.
(With inputs from agencies)