CCTV footage shows blurred images of assailants escaping

Aug 21, 2013, 23:54 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar

Two people on a black bike can be seen fleeing from the scene after committing the crime in the footage from an ATM camera

Investigators of the case of the sensational murder of Dr Narendra Dabholkar have received a crucial link through CCTV footage of a camera which was installed at an ATM centre of a bank at Shaniwar Peth.

Students and members of various social organisations gather to condemn the assassination of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar
Students and members of various social organisations gather to condemn the assassination of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar

In the footage, two bike-borne assailants were spotted while speeding away after shooting Dabholkar at Omkareshwar Bridge. Sources said that the description provided by eyewitnesses resembles persons spotted in the CCTV grab.

Dabholkar was shot in the head by two assailants on Omkareshwar Bridge when he was on his morning walk at around 7.20 am on Tuesday.

“We have assembled several CCTV footages from various areas and from one camera which was installed at the Bank near the circle in Shaniwar Peth, two people, on black bike can be seen escaping the area after committing the crime,” said a police officer from the crime branch.

“The description of the two people given by the eyewitnesses matches the images from the CCTV footage. However, it is blurred due to the low quality resolution,” he said. Meanwhile, he said that cops are also investigating if Dabholkar met someone on Monday in Mumbai and whether he had any dispute with anybody.

“It seems that the assailants kept an eye on Dabholkar’s whereabouts from Mumbai and knew that he used to come to Pune on Mondays and Tuesday and stayed in a flat owned by Sadhan Trust in Shaniwar Peth and used to go for a morning walk,” he said.

He said that records of Dabholkar’s call details are also being looked into. Another police officer said that the bullet, which was used in the shootout, was of 7.66 mm calibre and must have been fired from a country made pistol.

Additional Commissioner of Police (crime) Shahaji Solunkhe who is monitoring the investigation said that it is premature to say anything about the probe; however, investigators have received some initial threads. “The crime branch has gathered as many as 40 to 45 Splendor bikes bearing the registration number, which was spotted by the eyewitness,” said Solunkhe. He said that teams have been dispatched to various cities and been asked to interrogate members of some Hindu right-wing organisations.  

Reactions on anti-superstition ordinance
This is welcome step that state government has passed ordinance of anti-superstition and black magic, but we can not forget that it has come only after sacrifice. It is important to see whether the state government shows the same commitment in order to make this an Act. On the other hand it is a serious situation that Congress and NCP have forgotten their old values and commitment towards Gandhian thought and secularism. The new leaders in the party need to revisit their ideological base.
-- Anwar Rajan, leader of Yuvak Kranti Dal

I congratulate the state government for taking the initiative to issue an ordinance, but it is tragic that such a measure was taken only after Dr Dabholkar sacrificed his life. The government was forced to act after observing the state wide protest after Dabholkar’s killing. We need to see if same commitment will continue to be seen after six months. Some fascist organisations are appealing the government to cancel the ordinance before proper discussion being held on this bill. This is really disturbing.
-- Subhash Ware, close associate of Dr Narendra Dabholkar for past 27 years  

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