The special investigation team (SIT) of Kolhapur Police, which is probing the murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare, has arrested two of the accused in the murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh. The duo, identified as Bharat Kurne and Vasudev Suryavanshi, were produced before a court in Kolhapur on Saturday. Judicial Magistrate (first class) S A Mali remanded the duo in police custody till December 7.
Pansare and his wife Uma were shot by two assailants while they were returning home from their morning walk in Kolhapur, on February 16, 2015. Pansare had died of his injuries a few days later. Uma sustained a bullet injury but survived.
The SIT took Kurne and Suryavanshi into custody on Saturday. Prosecution lawyer Shivajirao Rane told the court that the duo were involved in the conspiracy to kill Pansare and investigation was on to ascertain the “responsibilities” given to them to carry out the murder.
Rane told the court that probe has revealed Suryavanshi gave a motorcycle to Dr Virendra Tawade, a Sanatan Sanstha seeker who was arrested by the SIT in August 2016. Rane said an investigation has to be conducted to ascertain how Suryavanshi provided the motorcycle to Tawade and what happened to the vehicle later.
Four motorbike-borne men had shot at Pansare and his wife Uma in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015. Pansare died at a Mumbai hospital four days later.
In August this year, Bombay High Court pulled up the CBI and the Maharashtra CID for their tardy probe into the murders of Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013.
Multiple agencies are probing the murders of Pansare, Dabholkar, Lankesh and rationalist M.M. Kalburgi, shot in Dharwad, Karnataka, in August 2015, as well as the Nalasopara arms haul. Members of the Sangh parivar outfit Sanatan Sanstha are suspected in all these case