Dabholkar murder: Activist who gave statement against Sanatan Sanstha men deposes as witness

Kolhapur-based artisan Sanjay Arun Sadvilkar (54) deposed as a witness before the special court in Pune during the trial in the Dr Narendra Dabholkar murder case on Saturday. Sadvilkar is also an important witness in the Govind Pansare murder case in Kolhapur.

Dr Dabholkar was shot dead on the V R Shinde bridge in Pune by two persons on the morning of August 20, 2013. Similarly, communist leader Govind Pansare was shot dead in Kolhapur, while he was on a morning walk with his wife Uma, on February 16, 2015.

Based on a statement given by Sadvilkar, CBI had arrested a Sanatan Sanstha seeker and ENT surgeon Dr Virendrasinh Tawade in Dabholkar murder case on June 10, 2016. In September 2016, CBI filed a chargesheet against Tawade, in which absconding Sanatan Sanstha members Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar were named as the assailants who shot Dabholkar.

But questions were raised about the CBI probe and Sadvilkar as the agency contradicted its earlier claim and named Hindutva activists Sachin Prakashrao Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, arrested in August 2018, as two shooters who had opened fire at Dabholkar.

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In the chargesheet against Tawade, CBI had claimed that he and Akolkar had a meeting with Sanjay Sadvilkar in 2013. It is stated that Tawade allegedly wanted to manufacture weapons with Sadvilkar’s help and “Akolkar had for this purpose brought samples of one country-made pistol and one country-made revolver of high quality.” In his statement to the CBI, Sadvilkar has mentioned about his Hindutva ideology, association with Tawade since 2002, details of his meeting with
Akolkar regarding firearms. Sadvilkar stated how Tawade allegedly demanded “chocolates”, referring to bullets to be used for the pistol and revolver shown by Akolkar.

In his statement, Sadvilkar has also given information about Tawade’s verbal altercations with Dabholkar during a programme organised in Kolhapur to mark the death anniversary of Saint Gadge Maharaj some years before.

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