No clues in Dabholkar murder after 1,500 questioned; 8 cr calls, 110 cameras studied

DabholkarDabholkar was killed Aug 20

In one of its biggest sweeps in a murder investigation, the Pune Police has questioned nearly 1,500 people, acquired data of 8 crore phone calls and footage from 110 CCTV cameras in its hunt for the killers of Maharashtra's leading anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar.

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But 10 days after the 65-year-old campaigner was shot dead by unidentified assailants during his morning walk, they are no closer to identifying the culprits or even the motive behind the killing. Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol says the murder plan indicates it was a 'supari' or contract killing.

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Those questioned include 200 criminals from Pune, 900 from outside the city, and about 80 activists of radical Hindu organisations such as Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti who strongly opposed Dabholkar and the anti-superstition Bill proposed by his Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, said a member of the Crime Branch investigation team.

It also includes gangsters lodged in Yerwada, Taloja and others jails, gangsters in Pune, Mumbai, Thane and Nashik who are into illegal firearms trade and are suspected to have links with contract killers, and even 96 morning walkers.

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The 8 crore calls whose data has been acquired include calls that emanated from over 12 locations - Dadar station in Mumbai from where Dabholkar started a day before he was killed, the spots on the way, the entry points to Pune, the routes the suspects might have taken to flee and some spots Dabholkar is known to have visited in the days before his murder. The calls also include those made by people opposed to Dabholkar.

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