Focus on arms dealer, but involvement not confirmed yet

PuneNarendra Dabholkar was murdered on August 20

The Pune police are interrogating an arms dealer in its custody to find out if he is in any way connected to the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar in Pune on August 20. While the police did not confirm if they had achieved a breakthrough, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had Sunday said the investigators "have got clues in the case".

The suspect, Manish Ramvilas Nagori alias Manya alias Rajubhai (24), has been in police custody since August 24 just four days after Dabholkar's murder in connection with various cases.

The Pune police recently took him in remand along with his three aides Rahul Sakharam Mali (22), Vilasram Avtar Khandelwal (22), Santosh alias Sunny Ananta Bagade (22) for allegedly murdering a security guard at University of Pune (UoP) last year.

Earlier, Nagori's custody was with the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which had arrested him along with one Ravindra alias Gotya Mane in October under the Arms Act. Before that, he had been arrested by the Thane police crime branch, along with Mali, Khandelwal, Bagade and one Heena Pathan, on August 24 for allegedly demanding extortion money of Rs 15 lakh from a Mumbra-based businessman.

Investigation by the ATS and the Thane police has so far not revealed Nagori's links to the Dabholkar's murder case. Still, according to sources in the department, the Pune police, while investigating the security guard's murder, are also questioning Nagori and the other three about Dabholkar's murder.

Evading a comment on the Dabholkar murder case, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shahji Solunkhe said: "Nagori is a notorious illegal arms dealer. The probe has revealed that he has supplied firearms to a large number of people in the past. He is currently being interrogated and we expect to get more facts from him in the coming days."

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