Bombay HC raps CBI for failing to get ballistics info from K'taka CID

Bombay HC raps CBI for failing to get ballistics info from K'taka CID

Report may reveal if Pansare, Dabholkar and Kalburgi shot from same weapon

Bombay HC raps CBI for failing to get ballistics info from K'taka CID

 The Bombay High Court on Thursday expressed surprise and concern over the failure of the CBI and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Maharashtra police to get a ballistics report from the Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that could show possible links between the sensational murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Kannada researcher M M Kalburgi.

“Are you pursuing it? How can an agency like the CBI which falls under the Centre cannot procure the report (from the Karnataka police)? We are surprised that the CBI is making such a grievance (on non-receipt of report). We are surprised that the Karnataka CID is not co-operating with a prime agency like the CBI,” a division bench of Justices R V More and Justice V L Achliya remarked.

“The Director General of Police of Maharashtra, the Director of CBI should take up this issue with the Director General of Police, Karnataka... non-cooperation is hampering the probe,” the court observed, pointing out that both agencies had been given enough time to investigate the cases.

While the Maharashtra government has handed over the Dabholkar murder to the CBI to investigate, Pansare’s killing is being probed by the SIT.

The Karnataka CID is investigating the murder of Kalburgi.
The CBI and the SIT told the court they were still awaiting the report from the Karnataka CID despite sending repeated reminders to it.

They also suggested that the delay was hampering the progress in the investigation of the two murders. “When they called upon us, we handed over bullets. We expected them to co-operate, which is not happening and an order from the court will only help us,” said Anil Singh appearing for the CBI.

The chief public prosecutor, Sandeep Shinde, appearing for the SIT, said, “The report is awaited.”

Advocate Abhay Nevgi, appearing for the families of Dabholkar and Pansare, quoted media reports as saying that the State Forensic Science Laboratory in Bengaluru had suggested the bullets recovered from the crime spots in these three cases were fired from the same weapon.

Dabholkar, 67, an anti-superstition activist, was shot dead by two gunmen in Pune on June 20, 2013.

The government later passed the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, which Dabholkar has been rooting for.

Pansare, 82, a leader of the Communist Party of India, and his wife Uma were attacked by two motor-cycle borne men on February 16, 2015, near his home in Kolhapur. He died four days later.

Kalburgi, 76, had run-ins with Hindutva groups over the years.
He was shot dead at his home in Dharwad on August 30, 2015.

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