Pansare murder case: Woman, allegedly linked to Sanatan Sansthan, detained

Pansare murder case: Woman, allegedly linked to Sanatan Sansthan, detained

Pansare murder case: Woman, allegedly linked to Sanatan Sansthan, detained

Close on the heels of the arrest of a man allegedly having links with rightwing outfit "Sanatan Sansthan" in connection with the murder of Communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare, a 32-year-old woman has been picked up by police for questioning from Kanjurmarg in Mumbai suburb.

The woman, identified as Jyoti Kamble, was detained for questioning and taken to Sangli, where police yesterday arrested Samir Gaikwad in connection with the case.

Suspected to be having close links with Sanatan Sansthan, Jyoti was said to be in constant touch with Gaikwad as could be gathered from call details, a senior officer of Mumbai police told PTI.

Gaikwad, an active member of 'Sanatan Sansthan' since 1998, was arrested yesterday based on leads obtained through electronic surveillance by the Special Investigating Team (SIT), set up to nab Pansare's assailants.

Inspector General of Police Sanjay Kumar Verma said the investigators are interrogating the woman on various aspects of the case.

Jyoti runs a mobile repair shop and has been a member of Sanatan Sanstha since long, said another senior police officer, who is part of the probe team.

Gaikwad was taken into custody after police went through his "innumerable" phone call records.

He was produced in a court at Kolhapur in western Maharashtra which remanded him in police custody till September 23.

Pansare (81) was gunned down outside his home in Sagar Mala locality of Kolhapur city on February 16 and succumbed to his injuries on February 20 at Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital.

The senior CPI leader was a prominent social activist in Maharashtra and worked for the welfare of the poor and suppressed. He was also at the forefront of the toll agitation in Kolhapur.

His popular book Shivaji Kon Hota (Who was Shivaji), projected Shivaji as the people's king as against his portrayal as a Hindu bigot by certain right wing outfits and fringe groups.

The book sought to counter propaganda of the Hindutva outfits while noting that Shivaji was a secular ruler whose top generals and associates were Muslims.

Pansare's frequent speeches challenging the communal agenda of right-wing outfits angered them, his family said.

Another rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was killed in Pune in 2013. Dabholkar, who spent much of his life exposing sham rituals, miracles, black magic, and godmen, was murdered in Pune in 2013 and there has been no breakthrough in his case yet.

In the wake of the recent murder of Kannada scholar and social activist M M Kalburgi at Dharwar in Karnataka, Left parties and rationalist outfits have expressed serious concern and anguish over the delay in bringing to book culprits behind such murders.

They have also alleged that the perpetrators of such crimes are connected to rightwing and fundamentalist outfits.

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