Opposition to Dabholkar’s anti-Superstition work was Motive Behind Enmity: Prosecution

Opposition to Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s crusade against superstition was the motive behind enmity against him, the prosecution has told the court in Pune as it started final arguments in the 2013 murder case.

Special public prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi, while starting the final arguments on Tuesday, cited statements of some key witnesses including Narendra Dabholkar’s son Hamid Dabholkar to buttress the point.

Rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, when he was on a morning walk on Omkareshwar Bridge in Maharashtra’s Pune city.

Arguing before additional sessions judge P P Jadhav, the prosecution referred to the testimonies of Hamid Dabholkar, Sanjay Sadvilkar and Prashant Potdar.

Hamid Dabholkar and the slain rationalist’s long-time associate Prashant Potdar had stated in their depositions that the radical Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha — with which some of the accused were linked — was opposed to the work carried out by Narendra Dabholkar’s ‘Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti’ (committee for eradication of superstition).

This opposition itself was the motive to have enmity, the prosecution argued.

In his testimony, Sadvilkar also talks about that motive regarding accused Dr Virendrasinh Tawade’s enmity against Narendra Dabholkar, the prosecution said.

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It also relied on psychological assessments reports of the accused, obtained from the central forensic laboratory.

Prosecutor Suryawanshi said he would complete his arguments on February 17, the next date of hearing, prosecutor Suryawanshi said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe in 2014 following a Bombay high court order, and arrested Tawade, an ENT surgeon linked to Sanatan Sanstha, in June 2016.

According to the CBI, he was one of the masterminds of the crime.

The agency also arrested alleged shooters Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar and co-conspirators Sanjeev Punalekar and Vikram Bhave.

While Tawde, Andure and Kalaskar are in jail, Punalekar and Bhave are out on bail.

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