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Dabholkar murder case: CBI files supplementary charge sheet against two

Narendra Dabholkar. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday filed a supplementary charge sheet against right-wing lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar and Sanatan Sanstha member Vikram Bhave in connection with the 2013 murder of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar.

The CBI, through special public prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi, filed the charge sheet in the court of additional sessions judge S.R. Navandar.

While Mr. Bhave is currently lodged in Yerawada Central Jail, Mr. Punalekar was granted bail by a special court in July.

The two were arrested by the CBI on May 25 after the agency alleged that the duo had participated in the conspiracy to murder Dabholkar. Mr. Punalekar was charged with destruction of evidence and for allegedly advising Sharad Kalaskar — named by the agencies as one of Dabholkar’s killers — to destroy the murder weapon.

The CBI had strongly urged against granting bail to the lawyer on grounds that he could tamper with evidence. At the time, Mr. Punalekar’s defence counsel had argued that there was nothing in the CBI’s investigations to incriminate him in Dabholkar’s murder.

After Mr. Punalekar had spent two custodial spells with the CBI, the court on June 20 had acceded to the agency’s request seeking his custody for a third time. The agency had sought the extension on grounds that it needed to interrogate him regarding allegedly incriminating documents and files seized from his laptop.

On June 23, the CBI told the court that it did not require any further custody of Mr. Punalekar, following which the judge sent him back to judicial remand.

In his statement to the CBI last year, Mr. Kalaskar had allegedly said Mr. Punalekar had asked him to destroy the weapons. According to the CBI, he had further revealed that Mr. Bhave had planned the reconnaissance and pointed out Dr. Dabholkar to the assailants. The agency claimed Mr. Bhave had even planned the getaway route for the shooters after the crime.

Dr. Dabholkar was shot dead while on a morning stroll on Pune’s Omkareshwar Bridge on August 20, 2013.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 1:01:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dabholkar-murder-case-cbi-files-supplementary-charge-sheet-against-two/article30031277.ece

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