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Narendra Dabholkar murder case: CBI arrests Sanatan Sanstha counsel, Sanjeev Punalekar, one other – Economic Times

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MUMBAI:The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday arrested advocate Sanjeev Punalekar in connection with Pune-based rationalist Narendra Dabholkar murder case.

Punalekar has been the counsel for the right wing outfit, Sanatan Sanstha. He has also defended recently elected BJP MP from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur in the past. Thakur is on trial for her alleged role in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

Punalekar is the fourth arrest by the central agency in the case. The agency also arrested one more person identified as Vikram Bhave in the said case.

“Punalekar was arrested at 3.45 PM today as he is prima facie found involved with shooter Sharad Kalaskar of the case,” said an official in know.

On August 20, 2013, Dabholkar was killed outside his Pune residence. He was murdered by two bike-borne assailants while he was on a morning walk on Onkareshwar Bridge in Pune. A case of murder was registered with the Pune city police, initially probed by its crime branch and later transferred to the CBI in May 2014.

On June 10, 2016, CBI arrested ENT specialist Dr Virendra Tawde, an alleged western commander of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), an offshoot of the right wing group Sanatan Sanstha, in connection with Dabholkar’s killing.

In the first chargesheet filed in September 2016, the agency named two more Sanatan Sanstha members Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar as the assailants in the case. According to the chargesheet, the conspiracy to murder Dabholkar was hatched because of ideological differences between the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), founded by Dabholkar, and the HJS.

However last year while probing a terror case, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Sanatan Sanstha seekers- Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar who allegedly confessed to have killed Dabholkar.

The CBI subsequently took their custody and arrested them in the case.

The murder weapon and the motorbike are both still to be recovered .

Earlier this year the CBI has filed a supplementary chargesheet before a special CBI court in Pune against Sanatan Sanstha members Andure and Kalaskar identifying them as the shooters and Tawde and another Sanatan Sanstha member, Amol Kale as mastermind. Kale has been also chargesheeted for his alleged role in the murder of Karnataka-based senior journalist Gauri Lankesh.

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