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CBI announces bounty for arrest of Dabholkar murder accused

The CBI on Wednesday announced a Rs. 5 lakh reward for information about two accused in the murder of Pune-based rationalist and activist Narendra Dabholkar.

Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar are accused of the August 20, 2013 killing of Dabholkar, 68, who was the influence behind the anti-superstition bill which was pending in the Maharashtra Assembly for 18 years.

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) move came two months after the Mumbai High Court pulled up the agency, saying “considerable time and energy had been wasted” in its investigation of the case.

The court had also expressed dissatisfaction over the initial investigations of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Anti-Extortion Cell.

The two agencies are accused of registering a fake case against Vikas Khandelwal, a Kolhapur resident arrested by Maharashtra Police in 2013 in connection with the murder.

Khandelwal, who was arrested within hours of Dabholkar’s murder, has reportedly told CBI that the ATS registered a fake case against him and his associate Manish Nagori.

He had also alleged that Maharashtra ATS officers forced him and his associate to confess to the murder during interrogation.

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