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No progress in Narendra Dabholkar murder probe: Family tells HC

Family members of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar on Monday questioned CBI’s “lack” of progress in the case related to his murder, pointing out how quickly the agency had moved in the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case.

The division bench of Justices RV More and VL Achiliya was hearing petitions filed by the respective family members of Dabholkar and the Communist leader, fellow rationalist Govind Pansare who was murdered in February this year.

The petitions seek supervision of the investigations by CBI and state CID in Dabholkar and Pansare murder cases respectively.

“Maharashtra government handed over to CBI the Sheena Bora murder case and within the 60-day period CBI filed a voluminous charge sheet. But in the Dabholkar case till date nothing has been done. Either CBI is lethargic or there is some political pressure,” advocate Abhay Nevgi, appearing for Dabholkar family, contended.

When the court had asked CBI to take over the probe in Dabholkar case, the agency claimed it had no manpower but for Sheena Bora case it formed six teams which were sent to Kolkata, Bhopal, Delhi, etc., he said.

CBI counsel Rebecca Gonsalves submitted to the HC that a progress report in Dabholkar case in a sealed envelope. “In the last four weeks, we have recorded statements of 91 persons. We have visited the ashram of Sanathan Sanstha and also recorded the statement of its spokesperson,” she said.

The court, after going through the report, said the agency was doing its best.

The judges, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the probe by CID in the Pansare case. “Unfortunately, in both the cases, the culprits are still at large,” they noted.

The court directed both the investigating agencies to submit fresh progress reports on January 7. “The CBI probe report shall be filed by Joint Director Neena Singh who is supervising the case,” the court said.

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