Mumbai, Aug 18: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday arrested one of the two accused who killed Maharashtra rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013. The accused was arrested after a tip-off from the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) which had arrested three people in an explosives seizures case. The police are looking for the other gunman. Also Read - PM Modi Reaches Pune's Serum Institute to Review Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Development
“Sachin Prakashrao Andure of Aurangabad is one of the two persons who shot at (Dr) Dabholkar. Further investigations are underway,” a CBI official said. The arrest comes just two days before the 5th death anniversary of Dabholkar, 67, who was shot dead while on a morning walk near his Pune home on August 20, 2013. Also Read - Coronavirus: Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Restrictions Till Dec 31, Essential Services Allowed
During custodial interrogation, one of these three accused arrested in the explosives seizure case made the sensational revelation that he and another person (Andure) were directly involved in the Dabholkar killing which hit national headlines. Also Read - Defying Odds, 34-Year-Old Differently-Abled Woman Becomes Sarpanch of 2 Maharashtra Villages
The Thane ATS alerted the CBI of the development, which in turn summoned Andure and confirmed the information given by his accomplice. The CBI arrested Andure during late evening hours in Pune.
Dabholkar, a well-known rationalist and anti-superstition activist who founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), was shot and killed by two motorcycle-borne assailants near Omkareshwar Temple in Pune.
The case was initially investigated by the Deccan police, but following a furore, it was transferred to the CBI in May 2014, with the agency increasing the reward money on the killers from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.
Shortly after Dabholkar’s murder, the state enacted the country’s first legislation against superstition and black magic. The activist was posthumously conferred the Padma Shri in 2014.
Since then, the All Indian Peoples Science Network (AIPSN) and others observe his death anniversary (August 20) as “National Scientific Temper Day” to create awareness against superstitions.
With IANS inputs