Terming as "disturbing" the killing of social activists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, the Bombay High Court today said sincere efforts were needed to investigate both the cases and sought their progress reports.
A division bench of justices R V More and R G Ketkar granted four weeks time to the CBI, which is probing the Dabholkar murder, and to a Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the state CID, probing the Pansare murder, to file their progress reports.
The court noted that it has been two years since Dabholkar was murdered. The 67-year-old was one of the torch bearers in the rationalist movement and had spent his life crusading against superstition and religious charlatans.
"There is a difference between ordinary offences and such offences where rationalists have been targeted. It is disturbing. There is great similarity between the two incidents. Sincere efforts are required into the probe," thecourt said suggesting for one agency probe into both the murders.
Petitioners' advocate Abhay Nevgi, however, told the court that although both Dabholkar and Pansare were social activists they were espousing different causes and hence the motive behind their murders may be different.
The court today also directed the state government to transfer senior police officer Satish Deore, an expert in cyber forensics, from Nagpur to Pune to assist CBI.
The high court, had in May last year, transferred investigation in the Dabholkar murder to CBI from state police after his family petitioned the high court.
While, Dabholkar, an anti-superstition crusader, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013 Pansare, a veteran Communist leader was shot dead outside his residence in Kolhapur in February. He was one of the leaders who spearheaded the anti-toll movement in Kolhapur district of western Maharashtra.