Diary of a ruined investigation

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Unmesh Gujarathi
Sprouts Exclusive

Unmesh Gujarathi, editor- in chief of Sprouts, has taken an exclusive interview with Dr Amit Thadhani, author of “The Rationalist Murders” to investigate the faulty investigations into the murders of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Comrade Govind Pansare, and M. M. Kalburgi, and what the motive could have been behind Gauri Lankesh’s assassination. Through this interview, we learn that the cases are a mix of politics, religion, and identity- all of which lead to a tangled web of unanswered questions.

Why are you claiming that the Dabholkar murder case investigation is faulty?
The investigation has been badly messed up first by Pune Police and then by CBI. The Police even failed to see the killers despite nakabandi being close to the place where Dabholkar was shot. Suspects have repeatedly changed, forensic reports from the two labs don’t match with each other. Even the courts and Dr. Dabholkar’s own relatives are not happy with
the investigation.

You have mentioned that the forensic report of guns and bullets is wrong, is this true?
Forensic Lab Kalina confirmed that weapons recovered from two arrested people were matched with bullets from Dabholkar’s body but those two were never charged with the murder. Then a second report from another lab claimed the bullets were not fired from those weapons. In one story the weapon was left behind in Pune and in another it was dismantled and disposed of in Thane Creek. There are so many stories in the case that facts seem to be completely missing.

You claimed that the suspects have also been changed.
Yes. The police initially arrested two history sheeters and recovered the weapons from them that were matched with bullets from Dabholkar’s body. But in the first chargesheet, they named two different persons who had in fact been missing for several years. And then in the second chargesheet, they again named two different persons. They produced the same eyewitnesses to identify suspects named in the first and second chargesheet! Even the sketches of the killers drawn by Pune Police and CBI are different.

Who killed Dabholkar?
We may never know. The case has been extremely politicised. There is a presupposition of guilt laid on certain organisations which have biased the entire investigation and compromised any chances of finding out who really killed Dr. Dabholkar.

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