Mumbai: The investigative agency informed the Bombay high court that it had, to some extent, established commonality between the killings of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and activist Govind Pansare.
A division bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was briefed that in the Dabholkar case, all the accused had been arrested but the weapon used in the crime was yet to be recovered.
The CBI informed the court that an operation would be carried out within a month to search for and retrieve four country-made pistols that were allegedly dismantled and thrown into a creek in the adjoining Thane district by the accused. “We are awaiting necessary permissions from government agencies to undertake the operation,” CBI counsel Anil Singh told the court.
The bench then noted that the operation should not be delayed and should be carried out before the onset of the monsoon. CID counsel Ashok Mundargi told the court that in the Pansare case, the main conspirators had been arrested and efforts were on to nab the assailants.
The bench then asked whether the investigation carried out thus far had pointed to any commonalities between the two crimes. “Yes, to some extent commonality has been established between the two crimes,” advocate Mundargi said. The bench, however, noted that there was something lacking in the probe in the Pansare case.
“We feel like there is something missing in this case. It is not that the shooters will never be arrested. They will be nabbed one day. But it should have been done by now," the court said. "It is the credibility of the probe agency that is at stake. It is a case where eminent persons like Dab-holkar and Pansare have been killed,” it added.
The court said that the government had to provide all assistance and guidance to the probe agencies in such cases. “Political leaders, who are in power, and have made promises to the public that they stand for peace and constitutional rights of citizens should ensure this,” the court said.