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Govind Pansare murder case: Bombay High Court transfers probe to Maharashtra ATS

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Bombay High Court has transferred the investigation into the murder of Communist Party of India member Govind Pansare to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

The Division Bench comprising Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh passed the order after noting that even after a lapse of seven years, the State CID’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), failed to get any major breakthrough in the probe.

The High Court further noted that although SIT has regularly submitted reports in connection with the steps taken to nab the shooters, but the same were still absconding.

The Bench further noted that Pansare’s family has been waiting for justice for seven long years. It is the responsibility of the investigating agency to bring the perpetrators of this ghastly crime to book, since it exists to preserve law and order.

It said the ATS will take up the investigation from a different angle, taking the probe to its logical end. It is also necessary for the public at large to witness the guilty being punished, otherwise the perpetrators of crime would be emboldened, observed the High Court.

The petition was filed by Govind Pansare’s daughter, Smita Pansare, alleging that there was a larger conspiracy in the murders of Pansare and other activists like Narendra Dabholkar, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh, which need a thorough investigation.

She further contended in her plea that the four murders were interlinked and the mastermind behind these attacks was common.

Appearing for Smita, Advocate Abhay Nevagi contended that the ATS had cracked the 2018 arms haul case and found the sharp shooters in the murder case of Dabholkar, who was similarly shot dead.

Advocates Sandesh Shukla, Amit Singh and Gayatri V also represented the petitioner. Senior Advocate and Special Public Prosecutor Ashok Mundargi and Advocate M.M. Deshmukh appeared for the state of Maharashtra, while Advocate DP Singh represented the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Two motorcycle-borne assailants had taken aim at Govind Pansare and his wife Uma on February 16 2015, at around 9:25 am, when they were returning from their morning walk. Pansare succumbed to his injuries at Breach Candy Hospital on February 20. His wife survived the attack.

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