Pune: With no clue about the key accused in the murder of communist leader Govind Pansare even after over two years, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for providing information about the two absconding accused.
Pansare and his wife were shot by unidentified persons in Kolhapur during their morning walk on February 16, 2015. While his wife survived, the veteran CPI leader died in a Mumbai hospital four days later.
Special Inspector General of Police (Kolhapur range) Vishwas Nangre Patil said, “The State government has sanctioned a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any person who will give specific information and whereabouts of Sanatan Sanstha activists Vinay Pawar and Sarang Akolkar, who are the key accused in Pansare’s murder case”.
In September 2015, the police had arrested Sameer Gaikwad, an alleged member of the right wing group Sanatan Sanstha, for his alleged involvement in Pansare’s killing. The attack on Pansare seemed to be similar to the one in which noted rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was killed in Pune in 2013, an official said.
In March this year, CBI announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to the person giving information about Akolkar and Pawar, wanted in Dabholkar murder case.
The State government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) of the CID to probe Pansare’s murder. The State government, Pansare’s daughter and daughter-in-law had earlier filed applications in the Mumbai High Court, challenging a lower court’s order granting bail to Gaikwad.
Pawar and Akolkar are the key accused in Pansare’s murder, an
Pawar and Akolkar are also wanted in connection with the murder
Akolkar, a resident of Pune, is an electronics engineer. He has been on the run ever since his name cropped up during the probe of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Goa blast case. The NIA had secured an Interpol red corner notice against him in 2012, but the security agencies are yet to track him down. Pawar, a resident of Umbraj in Karad of Satara district, has also been untraceable for the last seven years.
The petitions filed by the family members of Pansare and Dabholkar are pending before the Mumbai High Court, which has been periodically calling for progress reports on the investigations from the State CID, which is probing the Pansare case, and the CBI, which is investigating the murder of Dabholkar.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Dr Virendra Sharadchandra Tawde (55) of Panvel on June 10, 2016, for his alleged involvement in the murder of Dabholkar. Tawde was associated with Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, an affiliate of Sanatan Sanstha.
Later, in August 2016, the SIT took over Tawde’s custody to probe his involvement in Pansare murder case. SIT filed a supplementary chargesheet against Tawde on November 29, 2016, naming him as the prime conspirator and Akolkar, Vinay Pawar and Rudra Patil as wanted accused in this case.