Bengaluru: The Bombay High Court has taken cognizance of the progress made in the investigation done by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Karnataka in making a breakthrough in the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and has pulled up the CBI and Maharashtra SIT for the tardy progress the two agencies have made in cracking the murder cases of Prof Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. The CBI is investigating the murder of Dabholkar, w ho shot down by two bike-borne assailants on August 20, 2013 in Pune. Pansare was fatally shot by two bike borne assailants in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015.
On Gauri case and the role of Karnataka SIT, it said, “The steps taken by them have resulted in the apprehension of certain persons from Maharashtra named as ‘accused’. The material in relation to those investigations has been shared with both agencies investigating the murder of Shri Narendra Dabholkar and Shri Govind Pansare. We are surprised that some of those accused of murdering two persons in the State of Karnataka have been apprehended from Maharashtra.
There have been seizures effected as well from within the State. There are several persons named and stated to be associated with a sanstha/institution. The base of this sanstha/institution is also known to the investigating agencies. It is stated that a strict vigil is maintained on the premises of this institution; on the movement of its members, followers and disciples. However, we find that the promptness with which an investigation in the latter murder has taken place, resulting in the apprehension of certain persons from Maharashtra would reveal that the same degree of alertness, promptitude and seriousness has prima facie not been noticed by us on the part of the investigating agencies in charge of investigation of the two murders in Maharashtra,” observed the Bombay High Court, while listening to the prayers of the two bereaved families of the late rationalists from Maharashtra on June 28.
The court observed that they would also not be satisfied with the CBI and Maharashtra SIT and officials present in court putting up their hands in disgust and stating that everything has reached a dead end. “In one country, if there are investigating agencies in one part or one state exhibiting the necessary zeal and enthusiasm, so also expediency, but earlier murders occurring in the very country, but in an adjoining State are not investigated fully even after nearly five years of their occurrence, we do not see why in a progressive State like the State of Maharashtra, requisite steps are not being taken particularly to trace out all accused, as alleged by the family members. Prima facie, there is a commonality in these dastardly acts of the extreme elements… Is there a lack of coordination, is there no proper analysis of the information generated at the ground level, are the investigations only restricted to intercepting mobile telephone calls or the financial network as complained, and a vigil has not resulted in anything beyond a watch and ward?” the Bombay High Court observed.
Meanwhile, families of Prof Dabholkar and Com Pansare told Deccan Chronicle that the work done by the Karnataka SIT in cracking the Gauri Lankesh murder case has given them hope that they would also get justice and closure in the two murders. “The work done by the CBI and SIT, Maharashtra in cracking my father’s murder and that of Com Pansare is lacklustre. The Karnataka SIT has rekindled our hopes,” said Dr Hamid Dabholkar, son of late Prof Dabholkar.