HC transfers probe into Govind Pansare’s murder to Anti-Terrorism Squad


A division bench of justices Revati Mohite Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh said some SIT members will be part of the ATS probe to maintain continuity in the investigation

The Bombay high court on Wednesday transferred the probe into communist leader Govind Pansare’s murder in 2015 from a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

A division bench of justices Revati Mohite Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh said some SIT members will be part of the ATS probe to maintain continuity in the investigation while hearing a plea about the lack of progress in the probe.

Advocate Abhay Nevagi, who appeared for the petitioners, pointed out SIT failed to identify the mastermind behind the murder and hence the case should be handed over to ATS.

The families of Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was murdered in 2013, filed two petitions for a court-monitored probe into the killings. The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating Dabholkar’s murder.

Pansare’s family said the court was informed earlier about a common link to the communist leader and Dabholkar’s killings in Maharashtra and the murders of M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh in Karnataka but the investigators were unable to find the mastermind.

On August 1, Nevagi told the court that the link was found in all the four killings during the investigation into the 2019 Nalasopara arms haul case, which the ATS probed. He submitted the ATS found links of one of the accused in the 2019 case in the four murders but he was not the mastermind. Nevagi said the ATS as such would be the appropriate agency to take over the Pansare case.

Senior advocate Ashok Mundargi, who represented CID, said the state government has no objection to transferring the case to ATS.


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