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Narendra Dabholkar Murder Case: 2 Get Life Imprisonment; 3 Walk Free Including Alleged Mastermind

Ten years following Narendra Dabholkar's murder, a Special Court in Pune acquitted the accused Virendrasinh Tawde, Sanjeev Punalekar, and Vikram Bhave. Simultaneously, the court sentenced Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, also accused, to life imprisonment.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: May 10, 2024 12:21 IST
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Narendra Dabholkar

More than 10 years and eight months after the murder of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, a Special UAPA Court in Pune delivered its verdict on Friday in the trial involving five individuals associated with Sanatan Sanstha.

The court acquitted ENT surgeon Dr. Virendrasinh Tawade, Mumbai-based lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar, and his aide Vikram Bhave due to insufficient evidence. Meanwhile, the court convicted Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, the two alleged assailants, and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

What happened with Narendra Dabholkar?

Two bike-borne assailants shot dead Dr. Dabholkar, a rationalist, anti-superstition crusader, and founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), who was 67 years old at the time. The incident occurred on the morning of August 20, 2013, on the VR Shinde bridge in Pune, causing shockwaves across the country. Pune City Police initially investigated the murder, but the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the case in June 2014.

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The murder trial included the following accused: ENT surgeon Dr. Tawade, who was charged in September 2016; alleged assailants Andure and Kalaskar, who were charged in February 2019; Mumbai-based lawyer Punalekar and his aide Bhave, who were charged in November 2019. All the accused allegedly have connections to the radical group Sanatan Sanstha. In 2018, the CBI sought to apply the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case.

During a hearing of the case on April 18, Additional Sessions Judge PP Jadhav, presiding over the Special Court for UAPA cases, scheduled the judgment for Friday. Adv Prakash Suryavanshi served as the Special Public Prosecutor for the case, while Defence lawyers Prakash Salsingikar, Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, and Suvarna Avhad Vast represented the accused. Throughout the trial, 20 prosecution witnesses and two defence witnesses testified before the court.

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First published on: May 10, 2024 12:03 PM IST

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