Pune: The sessions court on Thursday remanded Amol Kale, a key accused in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, in CBI custody till September 14 in connection with the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
The CBI secured Kale’s custody from Bengaluru’s Central Prison on Wednesday. He was produced amidst tight security before the court of judicial magistrate first class, S.M.A. Sayyed on Thursday.
Pushing for 14-day custody, CBI counsel Vijaykumar Dhakane submitted before the court that the motorbike and murder weapon used in the killing of Dr Dabholkar were allegedly supplied by Kale and that he was one of the key conspirators in the crime. Advocate Dhakane did not divulge other details and handed over the demands to the court, stating that the high court had asked not to share the information publicly.
In his counter-arguments, defence counsel, advocate Dharmraj Chandel, stated that the CBI’s remand application was not backed by any prima facie material evidence in its case diary against Kale.
“The CBI’s interrogation of its alleged suspects seems to have no focus whatsoever. During the last day of the CBI’s custody of Sachin Andure (allegedly the main shooter), the agency questioned him (Andure) about the Govind Pansare murder which is being probed by the Maharashtra SIT. Why isn’t the agency focusing on the crime for which it has sought custody of the suspect?” said advocate Chandel.
Magistrate Sayyed later granted the agency an eight-day remand instead of the 14 days it had originally demanded.
Kale, allegedly a former activist of the fringe right-wing organisation, was arrested in May from Pune’s Pimpri-Chinchwad area by the Karnataka police Special Investiga-tion Team (SIT) in connection with the murder of Ms Lankesh. The agency suspects Kale to have masterminded Dr Dabholkar’s murder, suggesting that Kale and Andure, allegedly the main shooter in Dabholkar murder, had met in Aurangabad.