Mumbai: A former Shiv Sena corporator has been arrested in connection with the killing of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra’s Jalna district, CBI sources said on Sunday. Shrikant Pangarkar, a former member of the Jalna Municipal Corporation, was detained on Saturday night by the CBI after interrogation of Sachin Prakasrao Andhure, the alleged main shooter in the Dabholkar murder case, they said.
Pangarkar, 40, was taken into custody after Andhure told the CBI that the Shiv Sena leader was with him at the time of Dabholkar’s murder, the sources said.
The former corporator was allegedly riding pillion on the motorcycle driven by Andhure, a resident of Aurangabad in central Maharashtra who was arrested in Pune on Saturday, they said.
Dabholkar, 67, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants on August 20, 2013, when he was on a morning walk near his home in Pune.
Andhure, who works as a salesman in a garment shop in the Nirala Bazaar area of Aurangabad, is believed to be one of the shooters. On Sunday, the CBI produced Andhure before a special court in Pune, claiming that the weapon and motorbike is suspected to have been destroyed by the conspirators.
Andhure has been remanded in CBI custody till August 27.
The other accused in the case Sharad Kalaskar, who accompanied the shooter, was the person who conducted reconnaissance of the spot ahead of the killing, under directions of Virendra Tawade, the first accused arrested in the case in June 2016 by the CBI. Kalaskar is in the custody of the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and the CBI is likely to take his custody soon.
“On multiple occasions, Kalaskar carried out reconnaissance of the spot and tabs were kept on the rationalist to ascertain who he meets and when is he alone. The information was processed in order to decide on the time to target Dabholkar,” the CBI told the court in Pune.
The CBI also said that there is strong suspicion that the weapon and the bike used by the accused have been destroyed after the crime was executed. The whole conspiracy was hatched and executed by Tawade, the doctor who was apprehended based on the trail of e-mails with objectionable content against the rationalist.