Narendra Dabholkar Murder Case: Court Frames Charges Against 5 Accused
On 20 August 2013, members of a right-wing extremist group had shot dead prominent rationalist Dr Dabholkar.
A special court in Pune framed charges against 5 men accused in the murder of activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
On 20 August 2013, members of a right-wing extremist group had shot dead Dabholkar, a rationalist and the founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, in Pune.
Charges have been framed against five accused in the case – Virendra Sinh Tawde, Sanjeev Punalekar, Vikram Bhave, Sachin Andure, and Sharad Kalaskar. The men are linked to the radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha, as per The Indian Express.
The charges have been framed under section 16 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) (punishment for terrorist act), in addition to sections 302 (murder), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention), and relevant sections of the Arms Act, news agency PTI reported.
Additional Sessions Judge SR Navandar, during the hearing on Wednesday, asked the five accused if they pleaded guilty. The accused replied in negative, and sought more time from the court, as per PTI.
The special court, however, rejected the plea.
Further proceedings for the trial in the case have been scheduled for 30 September.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 3 September had argued in a court that the five accused in the 2013 murder case of Dr Dabholkar be tried under the UAPA.
The CBI argued that the accused were responsible for striking "terror among a section of people".
A special court in Pune on 7 September had passed an order to frame charges against the five men accused of murdering Dabholkar, The Times of India had reported.
(With inputs from Times of India, The Indian Express, and PTI)
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