No breakthrough in Dabholkar murder case even after a month

Sep 20, 2013, 00:29 IST | Salil Urunkar

Six people, however, have consented to becoming witnesses in the case

After a month of investigations, in-depth interrogation of more than 400 citizens from Shaniwar Peth area and verifying inputs from phone calls received, the city police have made no major breakthrough in daylight killing of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.

Dr Dabholkar
No progress: Dr Dabholkar was shot dead on Maharshi Shinde bridge near Omkareshwar Temple at Shaniwar Peth while he was returning home after his morning walk on August 20

The cops have, however, managed to find six witnesses who could identify the suspects in the killing. Police officials claimed to have got solid clues during these interrogations, and have ruled out the personal enmity angle behind the gruesome act.

Dr Dabholkar -- founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti -- was shot dead on Maharshi Shinde bridge near Omkareshwar Temple at Shaniwar Peth while he was returninghome after his morning walk on August 20. The two suspects had parked their motorcycle on the bridge and after a brief chase fired three bullets on Dabholkar.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rajesndra Bhamare said, “We have completed interrogations of more than 400 citizens who are staying and frequenting the Omkareshwar bridge area. Besides that we have also interrogated several self-styled godmen and religious heads, who were in confrontation with Dr Dabholkar. More than 200 calls were received from citizens in response to our appeal to share inputs about the possible movement of suspects. We have verified every input given by the public and after completing this huge exercise, six citizens have consented to be witnesses in the case.”

Outside help
“The CCTV footage collected, particularly from Omkareshwar bridge area, had been sent to London for forensic tests to be conducted to achieve more clarity of visuals. The report is still awaited and it seems that even they have not got any success yet. Based on the information provided by witnesses and CCTV footages of 110 cameras, sketches were prepared and have been displayed at various lodges, petrol pumps, hotels and highway ‘dhabas’ to get leads about the movement of suspects,” Bhamare added.

“More than 2,000 on-record criminals have been interrogated from the state, which included 1,000 from the city. Keeping in mind the possibility of suspects having used fake number plates, more than 265 licence plate shops were questioned and are still under our watch. More than 250 vehicles bearing a similar number to the suspects’ two-wheeler (7756) have been checked from the state,” he said. “Private parking spaces, including that of malls and multiplexes, parking lots of railway and ST stands have been thoroughly checked for the possibility of suspects abandoning their vehicle,” he added. 

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