Dabholkar murder case: NCP takes digs at Pune police

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), coalition partner in the Congress-led Democratic Front (DF) government, expressed its unhappiness over the ongoing police probe in the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.

 Nawab Malik
Under Gulabrao Pol, the Pune police have not been able to nab Dr Dabholkar’s assailants, which led to NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik (right) criticising the authorities

Speculations are rife that the reason for NCP’s tirade against Pune police is to unseat its chief who was appointed at the insistence of Congress leaders from Western Maharashtra. Sources said Congress scored a point over alliance partner by appointing Pol, which did not go down well with the NCP. They said Pune police’s inability to crack the case so far presented the NCP with a perfect opportunity to get even with its alliance partner.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik called it as the failure on the part of the police to nab the assailants who killed Dr Dabholkar. The statement was made yesterday at the party’s state headquarters. Malik’s statement becomes significant against the backdrop of comment made by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar last week. Pawar had said that failure to make headway in the case was damning on the part of the police. The comment was made in the presence of Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol.

Ironically, the statements by the NCP leaders come regardless of the fact that another NCP leader R R Patil heads the home department. The police have formed as many as 19 teams to crack the murder that occurred on August 20 in Pune. Taking note of the Pune police’s inability to make an early breakthrough, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had asked Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria to assist them. Maria met the local police and had offered a few tips. But a breakthrough remains elusive.

Meanwhile, both Ajit Pawar and Prithviraj Chavan appeared to be on the same page when asked whether the case would be transferred to the CBI. Both the ministers said there was no reason to involve a central investigating agency to probe the case. Chavan, while on a tour of Kolhapur, skirted the issue of handing over the case to CBI by saying that the agency was already burdened with as many as 10,000 unsolved cases.

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