The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested a man for possession of illegal weapons similar to those used in rationalist Narendra Dabholkar's murder.

Manoj Pagare, a resident of Karad district in western Maharashtra was arrested last week under the Arms Act by the Pune unit of the Maharashtra ATS for possession of illegal weapons. The police recovered 12 pistols of 7.65 caliber from his residence, similar to those used in the killing of Dabholkar in August this year.

"This seems to be an important lead and we are trying to get the details of the people to whom he had sold weapons in the past," a senior police officer privy to the investigation told The Hindu.

"The CCTV footage and sketches are being shown to him to see if he could identify the assailants," added the officer.

The family of Dabholkar had recently met the Maharashtra chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan demanding a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be formed to facilitate better coordination between agencies to help crack the case.

In August, Dabholkar was shot dead at the Omkareshwar bridge in Pune early in the morning when he was returning home from a morning walk.