Narendra Dabholkar was killed to create terror in society and among social activists: CBI tells Pune court
The CBI told a court in Pune on Thursday that it invoked terror charges against the accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case as the crime was committed to create 'terror' in society and among social activists.
Pune: The CBI told a court in Pune on Thursday that it invoked terror charges against the accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case as the crime was committed to create "terror" in society and among social activists.
Having invoked sections 15 (terror act) and 16 (punishment for terror act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the agency prayed to the court for an extension of 90 days to file charge sheet against two accused, Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar.
The initial 90-day period for filing the supplementary charge sheet against five of the six accused arrested in the case, including Andure and Kalaskar, is getting over on 18 November.
The CBI filed a charge sheet against the sixth accused in 2016.
Andure and Kalaskar were allegedly the shooters who killed Dabholkar, a well-known anti-superstition activist, in Pune on 20 August, 2013.
In its application before Judicial Magistrate (First Class) SMA Sayyad, the CBI said Dabholkar's murder was "well-planned and premeditated".
"Section 15 is invoked because the murder...was committed to create fear, terror in society, and in the minds of people, and intimidate a section of society, social activists," it said.
The intention was to send a message that those who oppose the beliefs of Sanatan Sanstha or (its offshoot) Hindu Jan Jagruti Samiti (to which the accused allegedly belonged) would be "dealt with brutally", as Dabholkar was, the investigating agency said.
Apart from Dabholkar's murder, the accused were also involved in murders of rationalist Govind Pansare, Kannada scholar-writer MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, the CBI said.
"This has been established with evidence including ballistic opinions," the application said.
The acts committed by the accused and the Sanatan Sanstha/HJS were "terrorist acts", hence the UAPA was invoked, it said.
Public Prosecutor P Raju then sought an extension of another 90 days to file the charge sheet.
Andure's lawyer opposed the plea, saying that while the CBI has claimed a link between the killings of Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Lankesh, probe agencies have not filed charge sheets in the other two cases yet.
The arguments will continue next week.
Sooraj Pancholi was booked for alleged abetment to suicide in the case and is now out on bail.
Dabholkar, who headed the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was shot dead in Pune on 20 August, 2013, allegedly by members of a right-wing extremist group.