Goa blast accused under CBI radar in Dabholkar murder

Mumbai/New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) The CBI on Wednesday conducted raids at the house of Sarang Akolkar, the prime accused in Goa blast case being probed by NIA, in its ongoing investigation into the murder of Maharashtra anti-superstition activist and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

Two separate Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams carried out the raids at Akolkar’s house in Pune and the resident of Virender Singh Tawde at Panvel in Mumbai.

A CBI official said that Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Akolkar, 34, who is believed to be linked to Hindu right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha, in 2012 in connection with the Goa blast case.

Akolkar has been on the run since his name cropped up during National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigations in the Goa blast case where two people were killed in a bomb explosion on Diwali-eve on October 16, 2009 in the coastal state’s commercial capital Margao.

“Certain documents, mobile numbers and e-mails have been recovered during searches from Akolkar and Tawde’s house,” CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said.

The CBI took over the case from Maharashtra Police and filed an FIR on May 9, 2014 on the orders of Bombay High Court which directed the agency considering a PIL filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar.

A medico by profession, Dabholkar, 68, was gunned down by two unidentified motor-cycle borne assailants on August 20, 2013, near his house when he was out on a morning constitutional, shocking the nation.

The case, which was first probed by the Deccan Police Station, Pune, was later taken over by the CBI.

Nearly three years after the brazen daylight murder in full public view, the investigators have yet to ascertain the exact motives behind Dabholkar’s murder or identify and zero in on the killers, though some right-wing groups and activists are under a scanner.

Dabholkar’s campaign of several decades finally bore fruit when Maharashtra became the first state in the country to enact a full-fledged law against black magic and other superstitious practices, albeit after his death.



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