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Plan to kill Dabholkar was made in 2009

Tawde and Akolkar nonetheless dropped the plan to eliminate Dabholkar after two Sanatan Sanstha workers died while ferrying the bomb to Margao.

Virendra Tawde-AV

Activists of Sanatan Sanstha Virendra Tawde and Sarang Akolkar had planned to eliminate rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in 2009 itself but they dropped the plan due to occurrence of the Margao bomb blast in the same year. Two Sanatan Sanstha workers – Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik – died when the bomb they were ferrying to Margao, Goa, accidentally exploded in November 2009. Akolkar, one of the accused in the blast, case is absconding since then.

As per the documentary evidence and investigation till now, “Tawde and Akolkar wanted to kill Dabholkar in 2009. However, they had to drop the plan after two Sanatan Sanstha workers died when the bomb, they were ferrying to Margao, accidentally went off,” they said.

The name of a police officer from Pune too has cropped up in this case. The police official is under the radar of the Central Bureau of Investigation which is probing the former’s involvement in the murder. Police are monitoring the call records of Virendra Tawde and the police officer. According to sources, the official holds the rank of inspector and is posted in Pune division. The police officer was interacting with main accused Virendra Tawde until right before Dabholkar’s murder on August 20, 2013. According to the CBI the police officer might have supplied firearms to Tawde.

The last call made by Goa blast suspect Malgunda Patil, who died when the bomb accidentally exploded in 2009, was to Virendra Tawde, arrested on Friday in the Dabholkar murder case. Moreover, Sarang Akolkar an accused in both the Goa blast and the Dabholkar murder case, had called Tawde from Goa before and after the blast.

The CBI had arrested Tawde from his Panvel residence and learned during its probe that he had telephonic conversations with the two Goa blast suspects. He was the first accused to be arrested in the Dabholkar murder case. His vehicle was used for murdering Dabholkar. Tawde was unhappy with Dabholkar as he was fighting a battle for eliminating superstition from the society and had urged the government to pass a law in this regard.

Tawde, suspected to be the brain behind the murder conspiracy, kept on planning a hit on the activist along with Akolkar. The plan was finally executed on August 20, 2013, when Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified men while he was on a morning walk on Omkareshwar Bridge here, they said.

The CBI custody of Tawde, was on Thursday extended till June 20 by a local court. He was produced before Judicial Magistrate First Class V B Gulve-Patil on the expiry of his earlier remand.

CBI lawyer B P Raju sought further custodial interrogation of the accused, saying he was not cooperating with the investigating agency. Subsequently, the court extended his CBI custody till June 20.

On the other hand, Sanatan Sanstha has denied any role in Dabholkar’s murder and termed Tawde’s arrest as “mysterious”.

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