CBI makes 1st arrest in rationalist Dabholkar's murder

11 Jun 2016 | By Vaneet Randhawa
Narendra Dabholkar murder case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made the first arrest in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case 3 years after the murder.

The CBI arrested Virendrasinh Tawade an ENT specialist, and member of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) from Navi Mumbai.

Dabholkar, a rationalist and prominent anti-superstition crusader was murder in 2013 in Pune when two men had fired at him, killing him on the spot.

In context: Narendra Dabholkar murder case

20 Aug 2013Rationalist Narendra Dabholkar shot dead in Pune

The founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead by 2 assailants in Pune.

He was on his morning walk when he was shot at from close range and died on the spot.

The assailants had shot five rounds at him- 3 hit Dabholkar, one of them in the forehead and the other two in the chest.

Who was Narendra Dabholkar?

Dabholkar was a socialist who had worked tirelessly pushing for an anti-superstition Bill in the Maharashtra state assembly. He had also penned several books and was the editor of "Sadhana" magazine, which promoted critical and progressive thinking.
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Anti-superstition and black magic bill and Dabholkar

Anti-superstition BillAnti-superstition and black magic bill and Dabholkar

At the heart of the Dabholkar murder was the anti-superstition and black magic bill.

Shiv Sena and BJP were against the bill as they said it would affect Hindu culture adversely.

It was passed in Maharashtra a day after Dabholkar's death but was held in the parliament.

On 18 December 2013, the bill was finally passed in the parliament (but after 29 amendments).

4 Jun 2014CBI takes over Dabholkar murder case

After nation-wide protests over Dabholkar's murder and the slow probe, the case was shifted to the CBI.

The Pune crime branch submitted all documents related to the investigations at the CBI office in Navi Mumbai

The police had arrested (on the basis of ballistic reports) 2 arms dealer Manish Nagori and his aide Vikas Khandelwal but the main conspirators still hadn't been nabbed.

1 Dec 2015Bombay HC pulls up CBI on the Dabholkar probe

The Bombay HC asked CBI to file a progress report on the investigation into the killing of Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in 2013 within 15 days.

HC reprimanded the CBI for not showing the same energy in probing this case.

The Sheena Bora case which was also under CBI's purview had been charge-sheeted in 60 days while this case had been neglected since years.

1 Jun 2016CBI question Hindu Janajagruti Samiti's member in Dabholkar case

CBI questioned Virendrasing Tawde of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti after his residence in Mumbai was searched by the agency in connection with the murder of Narendra Dabholkar.

The CBI had found evidence at Tawde's and an alleged follower of 'Sanatan Sanstha' Sarang Akolkar's residence.

Akolkar is believed to be the chief conspirator in the murder of the anti-supertition crusader Narendra Dabholkar.

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Akolkar also wanted in the 2009 Goa blast

Sarang Akolkar of the Sanatan Sanstha has been on the run ever since his name had surfaced in the 2009 Goa bomb blast case.

11 Jun 2016CBI makes 1st arrest in rationalist Dabholkar's murder