The investigation of slain social activist Narendra Dabholkar's murder should be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the Pune Police, who are currently investigating it, are being supervised by officials with vested interest, a petitioner alleged in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.

The court has issued a notice to the CBI to file its reply within a week. It has also directed the Pune Police to produce the case diary. The petitioner had earlier pleaded that the case be transferred to NIA. But on Tuesday, he amended his plea.

“Since the NIA can investigate only terror-related cases, and the CBI has a wider ambit, I requested that the probe should be handed over to CBI,” Mr. Tirodkar said.

He has raised several issues regarding the present condition of investigation and has alleged shoddiness and neglect. He said that though the Pune police had arrested two accused, they had not conducted their identification parade, nor had they tried to seek the crime weapon which was recovered by the Thane police. Mr. Tirodkar has said that the CCTV footage of the crime scene does not match with the arrested accused.

“The tendencies and local politics in Pune Police have led to various murder cases being handed over to CBI, such as RTI activist Satish Shetty's brutal day-light killing. Another case is that of one Amit Rane,” the written submission made before the court stated.

“Any delay in handing over the case to the central agency causes inconvenience to investigators by virtue of time-lapse and evaporation of evidence, as has been seen in Satish Shetty and Amit Rane cases,” it further pleaded.

Right-wing threat

The submission stated that Mr. Dabholkar had received death threats from the right-wing in 2012, which categorically stated that the activist will be killed in front of the Omkareshwar temple where he was eventually shot at.

It said that Mr. Dabholkar had distributed and publicly read passages of 'Godse's children: Hindutva Terror in India' and 'Rajiv Gandhi assassination: The Investigation', in front of Pune's Omkareshwar temple.

“At that time, he had received a 'commitment' from some unknown persons that ‘he would be done away with in front of the same temple.’ This was among many threats that he had received,” the submission said.

The Pune Police had earlier filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court ruling out the involvement of the right wing in Dabholkar murder.

“However, till today they have not been able to get the motive of the crime; shooter and motorbike apart. Also, their apathy and indifference to the procurement of weapon from Thane is also beyond any logic,” the application said.

Vested interest

It alleged that a senior police officer with vested interest was supervising the Dabholkar murder case, and that the police officer's close relative himself had threatened Mr. Dabholkar for challenging the validity of the mattresses he sold for lakhs of rupees on the pretext that they had medical qualities.