Other States

Pansare murder: Andure, 2 others sent to judicial custody till October 4

A local court in Kolhapur on Friday remanded Sachin Andure, named by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to be one of the shooters of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, and two others in judicial custody till October 4 in connection with the 2015 murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Maharashtra Police probing the case produced Mr. Andure along with Ganesh Miskin and Amit Baddi (who are also named in the murders of scholar M.M. Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh) in the court of judge S.S. Raul on expiry of their police custody.

After the SIT submitted that it had no further need of their custody, the judge directed that the three be remanded in magisterial custody.

Mr. Andure will be sent back to Yerwada Central Jail in Pune, where he is being held for Dabholkar’s murder, while Mr. Miskin and Mr. Baddi will be shifted to Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, where they are being lodged in connection with the 2018 Nallasopara arms haul case.

In the earlier hearing, while arguing for an extension of their police custody, government prosecutor Shivajirao Rane had said the three accused were present at a meeting presided by radical Hindutva activist and ENT specialist Dr. Virendra Tawde (the alleged mastermind in Dabholkar’s murder) in Belagavi a week before Pansare was attacked on February 16, 2015.

The trio had also received arms training in Belagavi the same month when Pansare was killed, Mr. Rane had said.

Till now, 12 people have been named in the Pansare murder case, including Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, two absconding members of the Sanatan Sanstha, who the agencies earlier alleged to have actually shot the Communist leader.

Pansare and his wife, Uma, were repeatedly shot at close range by motorcycle-borne assailants while returning from a morning stroll in Kolhapur’s Sagar Mal area on February 16, 2015. While Ms. Pansare survived the attack with serious injuries, her husband succumbed to his wounds in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on February 20, 2015.

Seven months after the crime, the SIT finally made its first arrest in the form of Sanatan Sanstha member Sameer Gaikwad, from Sangli district. In January last year, the Kolhapur sessions court granted conditional bail to Dr. Tawde in connection with his suspected role in Pansare’s killing.

In November 2018, Amol Kale, a key accused in the murder of Lankesh, was arrested by the SIT in connection with Pansare’s murder. Amit Degwekar, another co-accused in the Lankesh case, too, had been arrested by the SIT probing the Pansare murder.

Then in June this year, the SIT arrested and interrogated Sharad Kalaskar, alleged to be the second sharpshooter in the Dabholkar case, in connection with Pansare’s murder. The SIT had secured Mr. Kalaskar’s custody from the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad on grounds of his close affinity to fringe rightwing groups in Kolhapur and Belagavi.

According to the SIT, Mr. Kalaskar had manufactured firearms in Kolhapur and Belagavi and had a key role in the conspiratorial meetings hatched in Karnataka to murder the Communist leader.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 7:07:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pansare-murder-andure-2-others-sent-to-judicial-custody-till-october-4/article29472610.ece

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