In yet another setback to the Govind Pansare murder case, the Kolhapur sessions court on Tuesday granted conditional bail to Hindutva activist Virendra Tawde, suspected to have played a key role in the killing of the veteran Communist leader.As per the bail conditions, Mr. Tawde’s passport will be impounded and he cannot leave the State.Mr. Tawde, an ENT specialist who worked actively for the radical Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (a splinter group of the Goa-based Sanatan Sanstha) is prime accused in the 2013 murder of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar in Pune.He is now lodged in the high-security Yerwada Jail after the Additional Sessions Court in Pune quashed his bail plea in October last year.Expressing disappointment at Mr. Tawde being given bail, Megha Pansare, daughter-in-law of the deceased Communist leader, pointed to the slow pace of investigation, as Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, the two activists of the Sanatan Sanstha suspected to have carried out the actual shooting of Pansare are still to be arrested.“The SIT’s delay in nabbing Akolkar and Pawar is stalling the trial of the accused such as Sameer Gaikwad and Tawde. We urge the State government to have a dedicated team within the SIT to pursue the case, affected by frequent transfers,” Ms. Pansare told The Hindu.In June last year, the court, after three rejections, gave conditional bail to Sanatan Sanstha activist Sameer Gaikwad, prime accused in the Pansare murder case. Gaikwad was picked up from Sangli in September 2015, the first arrest in the Pansare case.The veteran Communist leader, along with his wife Uma, was shot outside their home in Kolhapur’s Sagar Mal locality on February 16, 2015. Mr. Pansare succumbed to his wounds four days later.
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