Soon after making the first arrest in rationalist Narendra Dabholkar’s murder case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths have got their hands on significant evidence. While scanning the emails of the only arrested accused in the case — Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Virendra Tawde — the investigators found an email from a senior Sanatan Sanstha member instructing him to “concentrate on Dabholkar”.

Virendra Tawde has emerged as the key conspirator in the case, said a CBI source
Virendra Tawde has emerged as the key conspirator in the case, said a CBI source

A source from the agency said this was not the only email relevant to the case they found in his account. The 46-year-old ENT surgeon had also exchanged emails with Margao blast accused Sarang Akolkar. Like Tawde, Akolkar is allegedly also connected to the Sanstha. These emails, which were sent before Dabholkar’s murder, indicate that there are around five or six more members of the Sanstha involved in the case, added the source.

A CBI official said, “There are around 18 mails that were about Dabholkar and were exchanged between Tawde, a senior Sanatan Sanstha member and Akolkar. The initial three emails since 2010 are crucial, as they have a mention of Tawde becoming in-charge of Western Maharashtra after serving six years in the Sanstha and him being asked to concentrate on Dabholkar.”

The three also tried to encode their conversation by using Sanskrit. The official added, “They have used a few Sanskrit words as a code and also mentioned some names in their conversations. There are timings mentioned in the emails that looked like they rehearsed the murder before committing it.”

The case so far
Tawde was arrested on Friday for allegedly conspiring the murder of anti-superstition crusader Dr Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot in Pune on August 20, 2013. The next day, as soon as the judicial magistrate placed Tawde under CBI custody till June 16, the agency took him to their Badlapur office.