A man identified as Durganand Vasudeo Nadkarni (78) — who now calls himself Durganandgiri Maharaj — was arrested on Monday, 24 years after he was booked for promoting enmity on grounds of religion by putting up boards and distributing pamphlets against a particular community in the city. Nadkarni was released on bail by a court here on Tuesday evening.
Accused: Durganand Vasudeo Nadkarni
Police naik Mahesh Nimbalkar received a tip-off about Nadkarni’s presence in the city. Nadkarni, who hails from Goa, started working for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) when he was 16. He was charged under section 153(a)(b) of the Indian Penal Code, which doles out punishment to persons for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, and language, or commit acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
Nimbalkar said, “Nadkarni and another Hindu activist, Milind Ekbote, had both been booked in the case. While Ekbote was arrested then, Nadkarni had fled from the city. Acting on orders received from our top officers, we were on the lookout for absconding accused in different cases.
Two months ago, I got a tip-off that Nadkarni had taken Sanyas and now lives as Durganandgiri.”
“On Monday evening, Nadkarni had came to Pune city and was staying at the Deshpande Puram society near Paud phata at a relative’s home. Nadkari extended his complete cooperation while we took him into custody. He was presented before a court today and was granted bail,” Nimbalkar said.
Nimbalkar has nabbed more than 100 absconding suspects and criminals who were untraceable for many years. He has been rewarded earlier with R5 lakh for his achievements by the then Police Commissioner Meeran Borwankar.