Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday referred to the investigation in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case and said that he hoped that the inquiry into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput will not remain similarly unresolved. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which was on Wednesday handed over the inquiry into Rajput’s death, has been probing the Dabholkar murder case since 2014.
“I hope the investigation will not be carried on, as was done with Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s murder case also under investigation by the CBI which commenced in 2014 and remains unresolved,” he tweeted. Dabholkar, an anti-superstition activist, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. The CBI has made a few arrests, including Sanatan Sanstha member and ENT surgeon Virendrasinh Tawde, in connection with the case.
Pawar, however, assured full cooperation from the state’s end. “I am sure the Maharashtra government will respect the judgement of the Supreme Court to handover Sushant Singh Rajput’s case to the CBI and fully cooperate in the investigation process,” Pawar tweeted. The Supreme Court order of a CBI probe is being seen as a setback for the Maharashtra government. Pawar’s NCP is a coalition partner in the state’s ruling dispensation.
Earlier this month, Pawar had called his grand-nephew Parth Pawar “immature” and said his words are not to be taken seriously after the latter demanded a CBI inquiry into Rajput’s death. “I have clearly said that I have 100% trust in the Maharashtra Police and Mumbai Police,” he had said. “But if someone still wants a CBI probe into it, then there is no reason to oppose that too.”
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered to transfer the inquiry into his death to the CBI. Justice Hrishikesh Roy also upheld the validity of the first information report registered by Bihar Police based on the complaint filed by Rajput’s father. The court’s judgement was based on a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty to transfer the FIR of abetment to suicide registered against her in connection with the death of Rajput from Patna to Mumbai.
The Mumbai and Patna police have repeatedly traded allegations in the case. Their discord intensified over the quarantining of Indian Police Service officer Vinay Tiwari, who was sent to Mumbai from Bihar to investigate Rajput’s death.
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Death being politicised to malign Maharashtra: Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena on Thursday alleged that attempts were being made to tarnish the image of the Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra government by politicising the death of Rajput. “If the FIR registered in Patna was right, then if other “characters” in the case who hail from other states file an FIR in West Bengal, will the Kolkata Police get power to investigate it?” the party asked.
In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the Shiv Sena said it was surprising that the case was handed over to the CBI though the court found nothing wrong with the Mumbai Police’s probe. “Sushant’s case was politicised only to malign the Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra government,” it added.
The party asked how many “real culprits” has the central agency arrested in the “several criminal cases” it is investigating in Bihar. “It is an illusion that only the CBI or Bihar Police can unearth the truth,” said the party. “There is no harm in the CBI taking over any case from any state. But this would be an encroachment on the state’s rights.”