September 16, 2020 1:43:01 am
The bail applications of two accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case — Dr Virendrasinh Tawade and Vikram Bhave, both members of Sanatan Sanstha — were rejected by a special court in Pune on Tuesday.
Tawade, an ENT surgeon, and Bhave had filed their bail pleas in July. After hearing arguments from the defence and the prosecution, Special Judge SR Navandar on Tuesday rejected both their pleas. Special Public Prosecutor in the case, Advocate Prakash Suryavanshi, confirmed the development while speaking to The Indian Express.
Ruling on another application by defence lawyers, the court allowed Tawade to meet his ailing father under police protection.
The CBI, which had arrested Tawade in the Dabholkar murder case in 2016, has said he is one of the masterminds of the conspiracy to kill the rationalist. In May 2019, CBI had arrested Mumbai-based Sanatan Sanstha lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar and his aide Bhave. Punalekar has been granted bail earlier while Bhave’s bail applications have been rejected in the past.
In August 2018, the CBI arrested Hindutva activists Sachin Prakashrao Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, claiming that the two were the shooters who had opened fire on Dr Dabholkar. Till now, CBI has chargesheeted Tawade, Punalekar, Bhave, Andure and Kalaskar. CBI had also arrested three others — Amol Kale, Amit Digwekar and Rajesh Bangera — who along with Kalasakar are also accused in the 2017 murder of Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh. Kale, Digwekar and Bangera have not been chargesheeted by the CBI.
Dabholkar was shot dead by two men while he was on a morning walk on a bridge near Omkareshwar temple in Pune on August 20, 2013. He was 67.
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