Afternoon Voice

Dabholkar murder case: Main shooter Sachin Andure held in Aurangabad by CBI

The CBI on Saturday arrested the alleged main shooter in the anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar murder case in Maharashtra, officials said.

Sachin Prakasrao Andure, a resident of Aurangabad, was nabbed in Pune late in the evening, a Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson said.

He will be produced before a Pune court today, he added.

Andure is believed to be one of the shooters who fired at Dabholkar while he was on a morning walk on Onkareshwar Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013, he said.

Earlier, the CBI charge sheet had mentioned Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, both absconding, as alleged shooters.

When asked about this mention and the agency’s latest claim that Andure being one of the shooters, the spokesperson said the investigation was going on.

Andure’s arrest was made on a tip-off from the Maharashtra Anti Terror Squad (ATS), which had last week arrested three persons for an alleged conspiracy to carry out blasts in the state.

One of the arrested accused gave an input about the involvement of Andure in the murder of Dabholkar, which the ATS shared with the CBI, the spokesperson said.

During sustained questioning of the accused in police custody, one of them revealed of his direct participation in the murder of Dabhoikar, the ATS said in a statement.

“He further revealed that along with him one more person was also directly involved, and both used a motorcycle in the murder,” it said.

Considering the importance of the revelation, the ATS shared the details of the second person with the CBI, based on which the agency carried out its own preliminary investigation and arrested the second person today, the statement said.

In June 2016, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Virendra Tawde under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the IPC, among other charges.

Tawde is alleged to be the mastermind of the killing, the CBI had said.

Late in the evening, a senior Maharashtra ATS official told PTI that among the three men arrested in the blast conspiracy case, it was Sharad Kalaskar who was also allegedly involved in the murder of Dabholkar.

The Bombay high court had in May 2014 handed over the matter to the CBI to probe the Dabholkar’s murder.

The CBI had arrested Tawde in June, 2016.

An alleged follower of ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ activist Sarang Akolkar, against whom a Red Notice was issued by Interpol on the NIA request in July 2012 in connection with the 2009 Goa blast case, is also under the scanner of the agency, they said.

Dabholkar’s murder in 2013 and communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare’s killing in the similar manner in February 2015 had sent shock waves throughout the state.