Other States

Dabholkar killing: Sanatan Sanstha member Vikram Bhave’s bail plea rejected

Sanatan Sanstha member Vikram Bhave (centre). File

Sanatan Sanstha member Vikram Bhave (centre). File   | Photo Credit: Yogesh Mhatre

A special court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of Sanatan Sanstha member Vikram Bhave, who was arrested by the CBI in connection with the 2013 murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

Additional Sessions Judge S. R. Navandar said Bhave could not be granted bail given his conviction in the 2008 Thane bomb blasts case and in view of his alleged role in Dabholkar’s murder.

The defence and prosecution lawyers concluded their arguments on Bhave bail plea on January 2.

Bhave, along with another Sanatan Sanstha member Ramesh Gadkari, had been convicted for his alleged involvement in the blasts in two theatres and a cinema hall in Thane, Vashi and Panvel respectively in 2008. A Mumbai court subsequently sentenced the duo to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment in August 2011 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Explosives Substances Act.

However, the Bombay High Court granted them bail in the case in 2013.

Bhave was arrested along with right-wing lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar, counsel for the fringe Sanathan Sanstha, by the CBI on May 25 last year after the agency alleged that they had participated in the conspiracy to murder Dabholkar.

While advocate Punalekar was granted bail in July last, Bhave is presently in judicial custody in the Yerawada central jail in connection with the Dabholkar murder case.

Punalekar was charged with destruction of evidence and in advising Sharad Kalaskar - named by the probe agencies as Dabholkar’s killers – to allegedly destroy the murder weapon.

In a statement to the CBI in 2018, Kalaskar allegedly said that Punalekar, known for his statements against Dabholkar, had asked him to destroy the weapons.

According to the CBI, Kalaskar further revealed that it was Bhave who planned the reconnaissance and had even pointed Dabholkar to the assailants. It claimed that Bhave had also planned the getaway route for the shooters after the crime.

In November last, the CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet against Punalekar and Bhave in connection with the Dabholkar murder. He was shot dead while out for his morning stroll on Pune’s Omkareshwar Bridge on August 20, 2013.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 11:15:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dabholkar-killing-sanatan-sanstha-member-vikram-bhaves-bail-plea-rejected/article30615643.ece

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