Rationalist Narendra Dabholkar murder case has hit a dead end. The Pune police on Monday submitted an affidavit in a local court stating that they did not have enough evidence to charge-sheet two suspects arrested in the case.
Manish Nagori (24) and Vilas Khandelwal (22), part of a gang, were arrested on January 20 on charge of criminal conspiracy. The two were granted bail on Monday. However, they are still in jail for other cases.
On August 20, 2013, anti-superstition activist and Maharashtra’s most vocal rationalist, Dabholkar, (65), was shot dead by two youths on a motorcycle on the Omkareshwar bridge near Pune’s Shanivar Peth area while he was on a morning walk.
The same day, the duo was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in an arms case. The two were later handed over to the Pune police in December last year in a different case. The police claimed that a ballistic report had found that bullets in a pistol recovered from the accused matched with those in Dabholkar’s body. The Pune police believed that the accused had supplied arms to Dabholkar’s killers.
“It was a suo motu decision to file an affidavit. This does not mean that we have given a clean chit to the accused but at this stage we don’t have enough evidence to charge-sheet them,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajendra Bhamre, who is the investigating officer, told The Hindu .