Narendra Dabholkar murder trial begins

08:17 AM Oct 30, 2021 | PTI |

Pune: The trial of the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar murder case began here on Friday with the examination and cross-examination of a witness.


Avinash Davalbhakta (54), who lived in a building in Shaniwar Peth area at the time of Dabholkar’s murder, testified before the court. Dr Dabholkar, a renowned anti-superstition activist, used to stay in a flat of Sadhana Trust in the same building sometimes. The day after he was shot dead by two people on the nearby Omkareshwar bridge, police had conducted a ‘panchnama’ (inspection) of the flat.

Davalbhakta was one of the two ‘panchas’ (witnesses) during the inspection. Dabholkar was shot dead while on a morning walk on August 20, 2013.

All five accused — Virendra Sinh Tawde, Sharad Kalaskar, Sachin Andure, Sanjeev Punalekar and Vikram Bhave — were present in the court as the trial began before additional sessions judge S R Navandar.

CBI lawyer and special public prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi examined Davalbhakta. Davalbhakta confirmed that Dabholkar used to stay in the flat twice a week.


”A bag (belonging to Dabholkar) was opened in front of me and some newspaper articles (cuttings), a diary and some documents were found,” he told the court.

Davalbhakta was later cross-examined by defence lawyer Prakash Salsingikar.

A diary and a press accreditation card issued by the Maharashtra government to Dabholkar (who edited a weekly of the Sadhana Trust) and which had been seized during the inspection were produced in the court.

The court also asked the prosecution to give a copy of the CD of the post-mortem procedure to the defence.

The prosecution said the Mumbai Forensic Science Laboratory did not have the facility to make a copy of the CD, and it will have to be done at the central FSL in Delhi.

Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, a defence lawyer, said the prosecution should have provided a copy of the CD to the defence much earlier.


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