The Maharashtra Police on Tuesday arrested right-wing activist Sharad B. Kalaksar in connection with the killings of Communist leader Govind Pansare and journalist Gauri Lankesh, officials said.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kolhapur Police took custody of Kalaksar from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) early morning, and produced him before Kasbah-Bavda Court Judicial Magistrate S.S. Raul who sent him to police custody till June 18.
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Kalaskar, 25, was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad after the famous arms haul case in Nalasopara, Palghar in August last year, and was named as one of the two shooters who gunned down rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in August2013.
Subsequently, the Special Investigation Team has recorded his statement as a witness in the 2015 Pansare murder case in Kolhapur and later for his role in the killing of Lankesh in 2017 near her Bengaluru home.
According to the investigators, Kalaskar remained holed up in Kolhapur for nearly a week before Pansare's killing in that city in February, 2015, and was in touch with some of his local associates.
Kalaskar's role in the Pansare killing came to the fore during the probe into the Palghar arms haul case for which the Special Investigation Team arrested him.
"The police want to probe the role of the accused in the disposal of the weapon used in the Pansare killing for which his custodial interrogation is necessary," argued Special Public Prosecutor Shivajirao Rane in the court, seeking a 10-day remand.
Overruling Kalaskar's lawyer Sanjay Dharmadhikari's plea that such a long remand was not required, the court granted the police custody of the accused till June 18.
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