Pune/Kolhapur: The district court in Kolhapur, on Tuesday, granted bail to Virendra Tawde (49), the key conspirator in the murder case of rationalist Govind Pansare.
Virendra Tawde, an organiser for the right-wing Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha, was first arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case and was in September 2016, taken into custody by Kolhapur police Special Investigation Team (SIT) for Pansare’s murder.
Though he has been granted bail, Tawade, an ENT surgeon, will not be released from jail as he is still in custody for the murder of Dr Dabholkar.
Earlier, the court had granted bail to Sameer Gaikwad, who was the first person to be arrested in the Pansare murder case.
After this, Tawde also moved an application for bail on parity. After hearing arguments of the prosecution and Tawde’s lawyers, district judge LD Bile granted bail to Tawde on Tuesday on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000.
The court also imposed conditions that he will have to deposit his passport, give attendance before the Special Investigation Team every Saturday between 11 am and 2 pm, not enter Kolhapur district except for court hearings, and not leave his district without the court’s permission.
Special public prosecutor Shivajirao Rane said, “We have appealed in the high court against bail given to Gaikwad. Now, we will appeal against bail to Tawde also.”
Megha Pansare, daughter-in-law of late comrade Pansare, told Sakal Times, “It is the failure of the government that Tawde, who is a key conspirator in the case, was granted bail. It shows that the government and investigating agency are not serious about the case. There are accused who have been declared absconding, while those arrested are being released on bail.
The government must appeal against Tawde’s bail order in the high court.”
Tawde’s lawyer Sameer Patwardhan told mediapersons that neither Sanstha nor Tawde is involved in the murder case. “The bail order proves the fact that government agency has no evidence against Tawde or Gaikwad,” he added.
According to SIT charge sheet in the case, Tawde had worked in Kolhapur for some time and therefore he came under the scanner of State police SIT probing the Pansare murder case.
Pansare, known for his rationalist views, was shot dead in Kolhapur on February 20, 2015. His wife Uma too was injured but survived the attack.