Rahi Gaikwad

MUMBAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed a charge sheet in a Panvel court here against the suspended Nationalist Congress Party MP, Padamsinh Patil, and others in the case of murder of his cousin and Congress leader Pawan Raje Nimbalkar.

Nimbalkar and his driver Samad Abdul Wahid Kazi were gunned down at Kalamboli, Panvel in Navi Mumbai, on February 2, 2006.

The nine accused include co-conspirators and contract killers. Mr. Patil and the others have been charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. Under the Arms Act, Sections 3 (licence for acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition), 25 (possession of ammunition) and 27 (possessing arms with intent to use them for unlawful purpose) have also been invoked.

CBI Superintendent of Police Amitabh Thakur told The Hindu that the charge sheet ran into more than 5,000 pages. “There are 185 witness statements, 221 documents and 35 material objects.”

Among the witnesses cited in the charge sheet is social reformer Anna Hazare, said Mr. Thakur. Mr. Hazare, who was also the target of the conspiracy, had exposed malpractices and corruption in the Osmanabad-based Terna sugar factory, headed by Mr. Patil.

During raids on the NCP leader’s houses in Mumbai and Osmanabad district, the CBI allegedly recovered incriminating documents related to Terna.

According to a CBI release, Mr. Patil, Satish Mandade and Mohan Shukla, “entered into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate Nimbalkar, as he had become a threat to the political career and survival in politics of Padamsinh Patil.” The MP and his co-conspirators promised payment of Rs. 30 lakh for the task.

Shukla and Parasmal Tarachand Badala (Jain) accepted the supari (contract killing sum) from Mr. Patil. Jain arranged for shooters Dinesh Tiwari, Chote Pandey alias Gyanendra Pandey and Pintoo Singh through his acquaintance Kaliash Yadav.