Mumbai: Over a year after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) declared a Rs 5 lakh award for information on the absconding alleged shooters, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, in the August 2013 Dr Narendra Dabholkar murder case, the agency still does not have any clue on their likely whereabouts, said sources.
In view of a pending Red Corner Notice against Akolkar, who was earlier a suspect in the 2009 Goa blast case, the agency is in touch with Interpol for any clue related to his whereabouts.
Akolkar who has been absconding after his alleged role in the Goa case came under the scanner of the NIA probe after the CBI probe in the Dabholkar case had stated that he and Pawar, were allegedly seen by case witnesses in Kolhapur in April 2013.
Dabholkar was shot by two bike-borne assailants while he was on a morning walk. “Despite a declaration of cash award of Rs 5 lakh for information on Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar last year, there is no credible input on their whereabouts till now. We have also sought help from Interpol as there is a RCN against Akolkar,” said a CBI source. In June 2016, the CBI had raided Akolkar's Pune residence, where he was not found.
The NIA chargesheet in the Goa blast case had been dismissed on technical grounds by a special court in December 2013 as the agency had not sought sanction of the state government against the accused who were charged under Explosive Substances Act.
The NIA later challenged the dismissal before the Goa bench of Bombay high court. The wanted duo were also named as suspects in the February 2015 Govind Pansare murder by the Maharashtra Special Investigation Team. In the Pansare case, the probe agency informed the court that the deceased's wife had allegedly identified Pawar and Akolkar as the assailants when their photographs along with photographs of 38 others were shown to her. According to her, both the assailants were on a black motorcycle.
According to the Dabh-olkar case chargesheet, the absconding duo was a part of the efforts to scour for ‘chocolates’ - a code word for cartridges - and a unit to manufacture country-made firearms in Kolhapur since April 2013.
A Kolhapur-based man - who was allegedly contacted several times for the cartridges and firearms - subsequently gave his witness statement to a court.