PUNE: A magistrate court on Thursday extended police custody of Sachin Prakashrao Andure, arrested by CBI in connection with the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, till September 1. The agency informed the court that custody is essential to find out about logistics provided to the shooters.
CBI has claimed that Andure, who was arrested by CBI on August 18, and Sharad Kalaskar (who is in ATS custody) are the shooters of Dabholkar.
“The investigation is at a very crucial stage. The police custody of Andure (whose custody ended on Thursday) has to be extended for two more days for effective investigation by CBI. We are trying for custody of Kalaskar. In addition to this, CBI team is camping at Bengaluru and completing court procedure to get police custody of three accused of Gauri Lankesh murder case, who are lodged in Bengaluru jail. CBI has got production warrants for bringing three accused from Bengaluru. These three accused in Gauri Lankesh case are connected with accused Andure and Dr Dabholkar murder case,” submitted SR Singh, Investigation Officer & Addl SP, CBI, in the remand application.
The application also read, “It is also crucial to get information about the firearm training given to both shooters, providing logistics to the shooters, the whereabouts of getaway motorcycle used on the day of the murder of Dabholkar, disposal and identification and whereabouts of firearms used in the murder. The police custody of Andure is required at this crucial junction of the investigation, in this sensitive case having international ramifications. CBI is trying to trace the motorcycle, identify the firearms used in the offence by accused Andure and Kalaskar, the other shooter in this case, in coordination with other investigating agencies.”
The officer also informed the court that CBI is trying to get custody of Kalaskar who will remain in State Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) custody till September 3. The CBI has prayed before the special NIA Court, Mumbai for examination of Kalaskar in ATS custody in presence of Andure.
Defence lawyer Prakash Salsingikar was not present in the court. In his absence, advocate Dharamraj argued and opposed the police custody demand. Judicial Magistrate (First Class) SMA Sayyed extended Andure’s custody till September 1.
Dabholkar was shot dead by two assailants around 7.20 am on August 20, 2013, at Omkareshwar Bridge, Pune when he was on a morning walk. CBI has already filed a charge sheet against Virendrasinh Tawde of Sanatan Sanstha in 2016.