Timely ballistic report would have helped crack Dabholkar murder case, say former cops
Former senior police officers of the state said that the they received the ballistic report from the forensic department in time, it could have proved to be a vital lead to crack the sensitive murder case of Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
Pune: Former senior police officers of the state said that had the Pune police received the ballistic report from the forensic department in time, it could have proved to be a vital lead to crack the sensitive murder case of Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
Twelve days into the investigations and yet no concrete lead has been established. Former officers said that the ballistic report could have identified the weapon used by the killers in the crime, and thereby helped them track down the source of the weapon.
This could have helped the investigators to source the weapon by the network of weapon smugglers in the city.
Jayant Umranikar, former commissioner of Pune police, said, “The ballistic report would have definitely helped the Pune police to set their line of investigations on a particular path.”
Umranikar said, “The ballistic report gives the information about the weapon, bullets, the range of firing, etc. It seems to be the work of professional criminals. “The criminals did not leave any evidence to track them down,” he said.
Suresh Kopade, former special inspector general of police, said, “The officers are aware of the weapon used in the crime and the ballistic report will just confirm it. The MANS members must actively help the police with all the necessary information.”
A senior official from the state forensic laboratory, said, “We will send the report to the Pune police soon. We can’t send the report in a hurry, it takes time.”
A ballistic in-charge of Kalina Forensic Laboratory RK Jagtap said, “We can’t reveal whether it was a country-made or a foreign-made weapon.”
The investigation so far
Pune police chief Gulabrao Pol, who came under severe criticism from all quarters including deputy CM Ajit Pawar, said, “We are working hard and are confident to crack the case soon. It was a well-planned murder. The killers have followed him for at least two weeks to study his regular schedule. They have also gone to his native place in Satara.”
Seven CCTV cameras from Shaniwar Peth, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Jungli Maharaj (JM) Road have captured an image of the two killers who had shot anti-superstition crusader Dr Dabholkar. Assistant commissioner of police Rajendra Bhambre said, “The seven CCTV cameras have captured the killers’ image. It will help us in the investigation.” The Pune police have sent a crucial CCTV footage to a UK-based laboratory to see the killers’ image clearly. They have collected over 100 CCTV footage from different parts of the city.
Officers on job
Assistant commissioner of police-ranked officers have been investigating the case. Over 100 policemen including 15 inspectors and 30 sub-inspectors-ranked officers are part of the investigating team. Besides, the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and intelligence agencies have also been roped into the investigations. A total of 23 police teams have been formed and are working on the case for the past 12 days on the case. As per eye witnesses’ description, a sketch of one of the suspects has been prepared.
Recovery from the spot
The police have recovered keys and a bus ticket which Dr Dabholkar had used to travel. Two live cartridges and three empties in the body of Dr Dabholkar were also recovered.
3 crore call records
More than three crore call records have been collected by the city police to establish a link in the case. The calls have been collected from 13 different spots from Pune, Satara and Dadar.
Criminals quizzed in jails
The Pune police have inquired over 300 past criminals who used to act on supari (contract killing) in the state. However, they have not found any clue on those lines. They have quizzed criminals from Yerawada, Taloja and Kalyan jails
Cyber cell involvement
The cyber cell of city police is investigating the case of threat mails and checking with the social networking sites. Dr Dabholkar’s son Hamid had approached police to remove defamatory comments about his father put on some websites.
Renowned rationalist and anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle on August 20 on the Maharashi Shinde (Omkareshwar) bridge in Pune’s Deccan area. The incident took place at 7.20 am when Dr Dabholkar was on his morning walk. The attackers parked the bike near the temple.
DNA/Chaitraly Deshmukh/Sandip Dighe