MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday transferred the probe into February 2015 killing of CPI leader Govind Pansare from the special investigation team (SIT) of Maharashtra police to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS)
“We are allowing the application and transferring the investigation to ATS,” said justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh.
The application was filed by the family of Pansare. Pansare was shot on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and died on February 20, 2015.
The high court is monitoring the probe by SIT. On Monday, the judges had asked whether an officer of ATS could join the SIT instead.
Special public prosecutor Ashok Mundargi, for SIT, said, “Either way we are agreeable. ATS can be appointed. Two-three officers of SIT can join the ATS. SIT can be continued with ATS officers.”
He informed that 2018 Nallasopara arms haul case was handled by ATS and many officers are no longer with it. “Those officers can be taken,” he added.
To the judges query, Mundargi replied that whoever heads the ATS will decide who will be “more suited” for the team.
Nevagi said the Pansare family’s “purpose is served.” He informed that some 40 persons are on a hit-list of the mastermind and security of the family is enhanced round-the-clock. The judges will pass a formal order.
On Monday, Nevagi argued that a serious concern was that there was no headway since 2015. He said ATS made a breakthrough in the Nallasopara arms haul case.
Disclosures by the accused showed links between Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar killings and even writer MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh in Karnataka.
He said two shooters – Sharad Kalaskar and Sachin Andure – in Dabholkar case were named witnesses in Pansare’s case. Kalaskar named Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar who are absconding as Pansare’s shooters.
“We feel ATS is the appropriate agency to take it (the probe) to a logical conclusion. ATS can make a difference,’’ said Nevagi.