The Maharashtra CID told the Bombay High Court that it had identified some more accused in the killing of Left leader Govind Pansare but was unable to arrest any of them so far.
The high court told the CID and the CBI, probing the killings of Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar respectively, that they have to outsmart the accused because if such crimes go unpunished, other criminals feel emboldened.
Appearing for the state Crime Investigation Department (CID), advocate Ashok Mundargi submitted a progress report in investigation into the Pansare case before the high court in a sealed envelope.
He said while some “new persons had been identified as accused”, the probing authorities were facing difficulty in tracing them, as some of them had changed their residential addresses and phone numbers, and many of them were even living with new identities.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also told the high court that several of the accused persons in the Dabholkar case had changed their contact numbers and illegally obtained new mobile phone numbers.
The CBI counsel, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, said while the probing agency was trying to sift through phone conversations for a clue on the whereabouts of the accused, it was a mammoth task.
A bench of Justices S C Dharamadhikari and Bharati Dangre, however, told the probing agencies that they must not refrain from securing the assistance of experts and accessing latest technology in their investigation due to lack of funds.
“Do not shy away from getting the latest technology on the ground of lack of funds.
You tell us what is required and we will pass orders ensuring that funds are allocated,” the bench said.
It also suggested that the CBI and the state CID seek the assistance of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Singh, however, told the court that they were already in touch with the NIA.
To a court’s query on whether senior most officials kept a track of the progress made in the two cases, Singh said the CBI director was kept in the loop at all times.
He said progress reports submitted in sealed covers in the high court were vetted by the CBI director.
The submissions came while the bench was hearing a plea filed by the family members of Dabholkar and Pansare seeking that the court monitor the probe into both the cases.
The court has now directed the probe agencies to submit their respective reports on the further progress made in the two cases by March 1 this year.
“When crimes like these go undetected or unpunished, other criminals feel emboldened and the rate of similar crimes rise.
The probe agencies have to outsmart the accused persons,” the bench said.
Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013 in Pune while he was on his morning walk.
Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and succumbed to his injuries on February 20.