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Published On: Thu, Jun 27th, 2019

Narendra Dabholkar Murder: Sharad Kalaskar Confessed to Crime: CBI

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download (5)PUNE/ NEW DELHI : The CBI Tuesday cited a “Forensic Psychological Analysis Statement” of accused Sharad Kalaskar and told a court here that he had admitted during the test that he and Sachin Andure killed rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. Sharad Kalaskar also admitted to being linked to two other murders — that of rationalist Govind Pansare and journalist Gauri Lankesh.
The prosecution cited the report while opposing the bail of lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar, and said that it was already part of the charge sheet against Kalaskar. The argument on the bail plea of Punalekar is being heard before Additional Sessions Judge (special judge) R M Pande.download (6)
The CBI has claimed that Kalaskar and Andure shot dead Dabholkar while he was on a morning walk on the Onkareshwar Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013. Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi told the court Tuesday that the test on Kalaskar was conducted last year. During the test, Kalaskar told psychological experts that he, along with Andure, had killed Dabholkar, the SPP said.

Citing the same report, he said Kalaskar also admitted before the experts that he met Punalekar in June 2018 and that Punalekar instructed him to destroy the firearms used in the murder.

The CBI has said Punalekar, if given bail, will tamper with evidence.Punalekar and his assistant Vikram Bhave were arrested last month. Punalekar is accused of advising Kalaskar to destroy the firearms used in the Dabholkar as well as the Gauri Lankesh murder case. Bhave is accused of conducting reconnaissance along with the two shooters and helping them escape after killing Dabholkar.

Several others have been accused in the murder of the Dabholkar — the first of the three rationalists killed while he had been followed by the shooting of Govind Pansare in February 2015 and MM Kalburgi in Kolhapur in August the same year. Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru in September 2017.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terror squad had arrested Sharad Kalaskar in connection with raids at a pistol manufacturing unit at Nallasopara in Palghar district. During questioning, they stumbled upon information that established a link between the murders of the rationalists and Gauri Lankesh and right-wing groups. This information was later shared with the Karnataka police.

Recounting the events leading to the murder in his confession, Sharad Kalaskar said he was contacted by some right-wing members, given a crash course in ideology, use of firearms and the process of making bombs.
He was told that he would have to commit the murder. “We have to finish off some evil men,” he claimed to have been told by Virandra Tawde — allegedly the main conspirator — and brainwashed into committing the murders. Virendrasinh Tawde has been arrested by the CBI and has been charged as well.
Sharad Kalaskar said Tawde told him to shoot Narendra Dabholkar in the head, so he died on the spot. He said he had carried out the instruction, intercepting Dr Dhabolkar as he was out on a morning walk on the Omkareshwar Bridge in Pune.Sharad Kalaskar said that he had been told by Tawde to shoot Narendra Dabholkar in the head so as to ensure his immediate death.
In the confession, he said he pulled out his country-made pistol and shot Dabholkar in the head from behind. As Dabholkar fell on the bridge, he fired a second shot, but the bullet got stuck.He then removed the bullet and shot Dabholkar’s blood-stained body above the right eye. After that, Sachin Andure, the second shooter who accompanied him, also opened fire.
According to the confession, Virendra Tawde introduced him to Amol Kale, who has been arrested in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. Sharad Kalaskar said he attended several meetings where the plan to kill Gauri Lankesh was hatched.
“In August 2016, there was a meeting in Belgaum, where the names of people working against Hinduism were asked for. In that meeting, the name of Gauri Lankesh came up and the decision to murder her was taken,’ he said in his confession.
A year later, in August 2017, there was another meeting where the plans were finalised and responsibilities were handed. Journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead a month later. He also admitted to being involved in the killing of two other individuals, rationalist Govind Pansare and journalist Gauri Lankesh.

In August 2017, he attended another meeting where the plan to kill Gauri Lankesh was finalised and roles were handed to them. Gauri Lankesh was killed a month later. Almost four years later, Gauri Lankesh, 55, journalist-cum-activist, was shot dead outside her residence in Bangalore on September 5, 2017.
She served as the editor of Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada weekly launched by her father P Lankesh, and also ran her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike. Though the two high-profile murders were committed four years apart, in both these cases, the long suspected alleged role of certain right-wing activists, including those associated with Sanatan Sanstha and others, has now emerged.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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