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CBI Seeks UAPA, Terror Charges Against All Accused in Dabholkar Murder Case

Dabholkar was shot dead by two men while he was on a morning walk in Pune, on 20 August 2013.

Published
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was murdered on 20 August 2013 in Pune. Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has argued in a court that the five accused in the 2013 murder case of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar be tried under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The arguments over framing of charges against Dr Virendrasinh Tawde, Sharad Kalaskar, Sachin Andure, advocate Sanjeev Punalekar and Vikram Bhave, began before a special court on Friday, 3 September.

The CBI argued that the accused were responsible for striking "terror among a section of people".

Dabholkar was shot dead by two men while he was on a morning walk near Omkareshwar temple in Pune, on 20 August 2013.

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The CBI has said that the accused are allegedly linked to the radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha. The CBI had arrested ENT surgeon Dr Virendrasinh Tawade in 2016 in the Dabholkar murder case and termed him the mastermind behind the conspiracy. Tawade, Andure and Kalaskar are currently in jail while Punalekar and Bhave are out on bail.

Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi, while arguing the case on behalf of the CBI, said that the accused have been charged under IPC Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 120 B read with 302 (murder), relevant Sections of the Arms Act and Section 16 (punishment for the terrorist act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

He argued that invoking Section 16 of the UAPA is justified.

The CBI lawyer had also cited a sketch in the Sanatan Sanstha mouthpiece ‘Sanatan Prabhat’ published on 18 August 2013, that depicted Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an anti-superstition outfit founded by Dabholkar, as a demon being slayed.

The defence lawyer pointed out several discrepancies in the argument. He reminded the court that the CBI had accused Sanatan Sanstha members Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar as the two assailants who shot Dabholkar dead. But in August 2018, CBI arrested Andure and Kalaskar and named them as the shooters.

The court posted the matter for hearing on Tuesday, 7 September.

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