SIT arrests Sanatan Sanstha member in connection with Govind Pansare murder

Seven months after the murder of veteran Communist leader and social activist Govind Pansare, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case on Wednesday made their first arrest in the case.

The SIT arrested Samir Vishnu Gaikwad from Sangli for his alleged role the murder of Pansare. He was produced to the local court in Kolhapur on Wednesday morning and was sent to the police custody of seven days.

“He (Samir Gaikwad) and his entire family are associated with the Sanatan Sanstha. He has been the whole timer of this organisation from 1998. He has told us that his wife is at Sanstha’s ashram in Goa presently,” said Sanjay Kumar, Inspector General of Police, in a press conference held in Kolhapur, refusing to divulge more details of his wife saying she is not an accused.

Sanatan Sanstha has been in controversy for its extreme right wing ideology and was on radar from last two years, after the >murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune. Activists of this organisation have also been arrested for their role in a blast in Thane’s Gadkari theatre. Its members were also arrested in another blast case in Madgaon, Goa.

Gaikwad was detained around 8.30 pm on Tuesday night from the road opposite his house in Sangli, and was taken to Kolhapur for further interrogation. He was later arrested at 4.30 am on Wednesday and presented to the court.

“His arrest does not mean we have solved the case, nor we want to claim that he is the killer. We have arrested him after almost six months of intense tracking and monitoring on the basis of technical surveillance carried out by our team,” said Mr. Kumar.

The accused does not have a previous police record. “We are working on one strong clue... But we cannot expose it to you at present. Our teams have been deported and are working on that link. Soon we will be able to produce clear picture,” said the officer.

Mr. Kumar however refused to link the arrest with the ongoing investigation in the >murder of noted Kannada progressive thinker, writer and scholar M. M. Kalburgi in Dharwad, who was shot dead last month, or with that of Narebdra Dabholkar.

“We are investigating about this case (Pansare murder case). If anything related to it comes up later in the investigation, we will make you aware about it,” he told the media.

Pansare was >shot at in Kolhapur during his routine morning walk on February 16, 2015.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 6:02:34 am |