MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Government has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for providing information about the two key absconding accused in the murder of communist leader Govind Pansare, a senior police official said today.
Pansare and his wife were shot by unidentified persons in Kolhapur during their morning walk on February 16, 2015. While his wife survived, the veteran CPI leader died in a Mumbai hospital four days later.
"The state government has sanctioned a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any person who will give specific information and whereabouts of Sanatan Sanstha activists Vinay Pawar and Sarang Akolkar, who are the key accused in Pansare's murder case," Inspector General of Police, Kolhapur Range, Vishwas Nangre Patil told PTI.
In September 2015, the police had arrested Sameer Gaikwad, an alleged member of the right wing group Sanatan Sanstha, for his alleged involvement in Pansare's killing.
The attack on Pansare seemed to be similar to the one in which noted rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was killed in Pune in 2013, an official said.
The state government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) of the CID to probe Pansare's murder.
The Maharashtra government and Pansare's daughter and daughter-in-law had earlier filed applications in the Bombay High Court challenging a lower court's order granting bail to Gaikwad.
Pawar and Akolkar are the key accused in Pansare's murder, an official said.
The SIT had earlier arrested Sanatan Sanstha activist Sameer Gaikwad in connection with Pansare's murder, he said.
Pawar and Akolkar are also wanted in connection with the murder of Dabholkar.
Akolkar, who hails from Pune, is an electronics engineer. He has been on the run ever since his name cropped up during the probe of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Goa blast case.
The NIA had secured an Interpol red corner notice against him in 2012 but the security agencies are yet to track him down.
Pawar, a resident of Miraj in Sangli district of western Maharashtra, also has been untraceable for the last seven years.
The petitions filed by the family members of Pansare and Dabholkar are pending before the Bombay High Court, which has been periodically calling for progress reports on the investigations from the state CID, which is probing the Pansare case, and the CBI, which is investigating the murder of Dabholkar.