New Delhi : The CBI arrested Dr Virendra Tawade, a member of the Sanatan Sanstha offshoot, Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), for his alleged role in the murder of noted Pune-based rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar in 2013. Tawde was arrested on Friday night from Panvel in Mumbai and will be produced before a special court in Pune on Saturday afternoon. Accused Virendrasinh Tawade (48), an ENT specialist, from Panvel in Navi Mumbai.
Tawade used to earlier live in Satara, Dabholkar, a rationalist and prominent anti-superstition crusader, was shot dead by two unidentified suspects on a motorcycle on the Balgandharva bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013. Tawade has been arrested on charges of conspiracy . He will be produced in the Shivajinagar court here on Saturday. Investigation is continuing," CBI Spokesperson Devpreet Singh said.
Dawde's arrest is the first in the case after the Mumbai High cour handed over the probe to the CBI in May 2014. Murders of these rationalists had sparked a huge controversy across the country with writers returning their awards over intolerance. A Red Corner Notice was issued by Interpol against Akolkar in July 2012 in connection with the 2009 Goa blast case on NIA's request, CBI sources said. The residences of Tawde and Akolkar were searched by the agency which recovered several SIM cards, cell phones and data from computer. They said the two were investigated after the agency found some "cyber forensic evidence" about their alleged role in Dabholkar's murder case. He has been on the run ever since his name cropped up during NIA investigations in the Goa blast case. NIA had secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against him in 2012 but security agencies are yet to track him down.