first_imgA court in Kolhapur on Monday remanded Sanatan Sanstha sympathiser Sharad Kalaskar, named by the investigating agencies to be one of the shooters of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, in judicial custody till July 8 in connection with the 2015 murder of senior Communist leader and writer Govind Pansare.Earlier in the day, Kalaskar was produced by the Maharashtra police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the crime in the court of Judge S.S. Raul on expiry of his police custody.The judge immediately directed that he be remanded in magisterial custody, following which the accused was shifted to Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.Sources in the SIT said that Kalaskar, during interrogation, confessed to the involvement of two other persons in the case, both of whom are believed to be Kolhapur men. The SIT has hinted that it would soon arrest them.The investigation team first secured Kalaskar’s custody on June 11 from the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in order to probe his precise role in the conspiracy hatched in Belagavi in Karnataka and Kolhapur to murder Pansare.On June 18, the police secured a further seven-day extension of his custody from the court on the grounds that the SIT had uncovered “vital information regarding Kalaskar’s involvement in the crime”.During this 14-day period, the SIT conducted searches at Kalaskar’s home in Kesapuri village in Aurangabad district and retrieved a mobile phone and a diary.The SIT has alleged that he was tasked with destroying the weapon used to kill Pansare and that he, along with other suspects, obtained instructions in firearms in Belagavi.The ATS first arrested Kalaskar along with fringe right-wing activist Vaibhav Raut from Nallasopara in Mumbai, and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar from Pune on August 10 last for allegedly planning disruptive activities in several parts of the State.The probe agencies have alleged that Kalaskar was an expert in arms manufacturing and he was a part of the wider conspiracy that links the murders of Pansare, and journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru.Pansare, along with his wife Uma, was repeatedly shot at close range by motorcycle-borne assailants while he was returning from a morning stroll in Kolhapur’s Sagar Mal locality in February 2015. While his wife survived the attack with serious injuries, Pansare died of his wounds in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on February 20 that year.last_img

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