MUMBAI: In a chargesheet filed at a special court in Pune on Wednesday, the CBI named Dr Virendra Tawde of Sanatan Sanstha offshoot Hindu Janajagruti Samiti as the key conspirator, Sarang Akolkar — who is also accused in the Goa blast case — and shooter Vinay Pawar as co-conspirators in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case.
Tawde, an ENT surgeon, was arrested in June after investigators came across coded emails exchanges between him and another senior Sanstha member where the plan to kill the rationalist leader was discussed. Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013 by two motorcycle-borne youths in Pune while he was on a morning walk.
The chargesheet states that the plan to murder Dabholkar was conceived in 2007 but put on hold to carry out the Diwali eve blast in Goa in 2009 and the plot gathered steam again in June 2013.
The CBI has attached with the chargesheet an analysis of the hard discs recovered from the Sanstha premises in Panvel. According to the analysis, the right-wing Hindu outfit, after failing in attempts to carry out bomb blasts in Vashi, Thane and Goa, had decided to make its strategy “personality-specific” and eliminate “anti-Hindu activists”.
“The analysis of the hard discs reveals that they had a hit list of anti-Hindu activists which the outfit planned to ‘eliminate’. These personalities were discussed through codes and were referred as ‘rakshas’ (demon) by the members,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.
Also part of the evidence is the testimony of some persons whose help was sought to murder Dabholkar, whose tireless campaign against superstitious practices resulted in Maharashtra enacting a law to check them. The CBI said Sanstha saw the Dabholkar’s anti-superstition campaign as a campaign against Hinduism and that the outfit described the rationalist leader as a “dharma dhrohi” (traitor to religion). Tawde had allegedly tried to procure countrymade guns from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and even attempted to manufacture the weapons, CBI sources said.
Dabholkar’s son Hameed Dabholkar welcomed the filing of the chargesheet and demanded more arrests in the case.
“It is a positive step. However, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar [also Sanstha members] are still absconding. They need to be arrested as early as possible,” he said. He also demanded that the case of Govind Pansare, the CPI leader who was murdered in February 2015, be clubbed with the Dabholkar case. A red corner notice is pending against Akolkar in connection with the Goa blast being probed by the NIA.