Sanatan Sanstha member Sameer Gaikwad, who has been arrested in connection with the Govind Pansare murder case, has been questioned by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in relation to the absconding members of the 2009 Margao blasts. A team of Karnataka CID officers also rushed to Kolhapur to get some likely leads in the murder of Professor M M Kalburgi.

Sources in the Intelligence said, “From Sunday, a team of NIA has been in Kolhapur and interrogated Gaikwad (32) for five hours. Gaikwad is from Sangli and currently runs a mobile repair shop in Mumbai. Police have questioning Gaikwad’s friend named Jyoti to probe her involvement in crime. The police had tapped his mobile and have a recording of Gaikwad, where he has allegedly confessed to his connection in the Pansare murder and is heard discussing with the same with Jyoti.

The source added, “Jyoti is a divorcee and a member of Sanatan Sanstha, who hails from Bhandup in Mumbai. She has taken education in medicine, and claims that she is doctor. We are probing further into the matter.”

“On Monday, a team of Karnataka CID also approached us to find out the probe. It has been noticed that Rudra Patil, absconding and wanted in connection with the Goa blast case and another accused, Pune-based engineer Dilip Akolkar, who was an engineer, and is friend of Gaikwad, have been in contact with him. It is believed that Patil was last seen on Karnataka-Maharashtra border,” the source further stated,

Gaikwad was arrested in a joint operation with Kolhapur and Sangli police together on September 15. He has been with Sanathan Sanstha since 1998. Police have raided his house in Mumbai as well as in Sangli, and he will be in police custody till September 23. While, the investigators have made it clear that the arrested person is associated with Sanatan Sanstha, they maintain that he remains only a suspect.

Meanwhile, Sanatan Sanstha, in a statement to the media, has denied the involvement of Gaikwad and also asked for the evidence against him. A spokesperson from the organisation told the media, “Gaikwad is being framed in this case and has been falsely implicated. He is innocent and our Sanstha is a devotional institute and not any terror organisation. In the past as well, our members have been on the radar of police but we have come with a clean chit. Police directly lifted Gaikwad and did not even intimate the family about his arrest. This is violence of his human rights and contempt of Supreme Court ruling.”