PUNE: A special court on Saturday rejected the bail application of suspect Vikram Bhave, an alleged accomplice of Sanatan Sanstha advocate Sanjiv Punalekar, in the murder case of Dr Narendra Dabholkar. Bhave is accused of doing a recce of place where two persons had shot Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 and also showing them the route to escape.
Special UAPA Judge RM Pande orally informed Bhave’s lawyer and public prosecutor about rejection of the bail application. Bhave and Punalekar were arrested on May 25 this year from Mumbai. After Punalekar was granted bail on July 5, Bhave had also applied for bail.
Bhave’s lawyer Virendra Ichalkaranjikar said that they will move the high court after studying the order copy.
According to CBI, Bhave is a convict in 2008 bomb blast at a theatre in Thane. He was released on bail in May 2013 and since then worked as assistant at the office Punalekar in Mumbai. Punalekar, a member of the Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, a lawyer’s association, has been providing legal assistance to several Sanatan Sanstha members and other accused in many other cases.
According to CBI, Punalekar advised the shooter Sharad Kalaskar to destroy the weapon after the murder, while Bhave had recced the place where Dabholkar was shot dead. “Sharad Kalaskar and Sachin Andure had fired at Dabholkar on the Omkareshwar Bridge. About 15 days before the murder, Bhave had driven triple seat with Kalaskar and Andure on a bike and shown them the area around the bridge and how to escape from there,” Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryavanshi informed the court about Bhave’s role.
The CBI further submitted to the court that in June 2018, Kalaskar met Punalekar in the presence of Bhave. Kalaskar told him about his role in Dabholkar murder case. Punalekar asked him to destroy the weapon, following which Kalaskar dismantled four pistols and threw them from a bridge on Thane Creek on July 23, 2018.
At about 7.20 am on August 20, 2013, two unidentified persons aged about 25 to 30 years, of medium height had fired bullets and killed rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), while he was on footpath of Omkareshwar Bridge in Pune.