By NewsGram Staff Writer
Kolhapur (Maharashtra): A senior police officer on Wednesday revealed that a man associated with a right-wing group was arrested from Sangli town in connection with the killing of senior Communist leader Govind Pansare on February 20.
The suspect, Samir V Gaikwad, 30, is connected with the Sanatan Sanstha Hindu organisation since 1998.
Govind Pansare was attacked on February 16 in Kolhapur when he was shot at from a close range. Pansare, 81, died of bullet injuries four days later.
Sanjay Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (CID), Pune, told media persons that the suspect could be “directly or indirectly connected” with the Pansare killing.
A spokesperson for the Sanatan Sanstha, Sandeep Shinde, dismissed the allegations against the organisation, but admitted that the accused Gaikwad and his family members are “very good and active workers” of the right-wing group.
Shinde said, “Gaikwad had gone to Sangli for the Ganeshotsav celebrations and he was nabbed by the police. In the past as well, I have been arrested and put in jail… Such allegations are nothing new for us.”
Gaikwad, who runs a mobile phones repair business, was nabbed from a place in Sangli after a joint action by the Kolhapur and Sangli police. He was remanded in police custody for a week by a Kolhapur court.
“We are searching Gaikwad’s premises in Mumbai, Sangli and other places. We have unearthed some evidence against him which has been submitted before the court,” Sanjay Kumar told media.
He also informed that Gaikwad has been kept under observation since quite some time now and he was nabbed on the basis of telephone call records and other discreet forms of surveillance.
Kumar said Gaikwad was picked up for questioning late Tuesday night and placed under arrest around 4.30 am on Wednesday. He claimed that Gaikwad was nabbed as the police had found his “links” to the Pansare killing.
The late comrade’s daughter, Smita Pansare welcomed the police action in Kolhapur, while another social activist Mukta Dabholkar, whose father, rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, said that Gaikwad could be just one link in a larger conspiracy.
Akin to Dabholkar’s mystery murder, the killing of Pansare had led to a national outcry, spurring the police to hasten the investigations into the two shocking homicides which rattled the state government.
(With inputs from IANS)