Suspect in Pansare murder case granted bail

Samir Gaikwad, an activist of right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, who was arrested in connection with the sensational murder of communist leader Govind Pansare and a charge sheet filed, was on Saturday granted bail by the Kolhapur District Sessions Court.

Gaikwad was arrested by a team of Kolhapur Police and Special Investigation Team (SIT) on September 16, 2015. Gaikwad and his family are associated with the Sanatan Sanstha since 1998. His wife stays in the Goa ashram of Sanatan Sanstha.

The court, while granting bail, asked him to surrender his passport, not to leave Maharashtra and cooperate with the police investigation when needed. Comrade Pansare (82) and his wife Uma were attacked by two motorcycle-borne youths on February 16, 2015, near their home in Kolhapur, and he died four days later at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.

The death of Pansare, rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and writer M M Kalburgi came as a shock across the country. Dabholkar, the founder-president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), was shot dead on June 20, 2013,  by two unidentified gunmen near Omkareshwar temple in Pune. Kalburgi (76), who had run-ins with right-wing Hindutva groups over the years, was shot dead on August 30, 2015, by unidentified gunman at his residence in Kalyan Nagar locality of Dharwad.

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