A local court today extended by two days the police custody of Sanatan Sanstha activist Samir Gaikwad who was arrested in connection with the murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare.
Gaikwad was arrested in Sangli on September 16 by SIT of Maharashtra Police probing the Pansare murder case and his custody was to end today. Sanatan Sanstha, which is on the radar of probe agencies in this case, brought a battery 37 lawyers in the court today.
The prosecution told the court that police need more time to interrogate Samir. However, although they sought was extension of Samir's police custody by seven days, Magistrate Aparna Jainapure granted only two more days.
"We wanted Samir's custody to be extended for seven days, but the court granted only two more days, which means that on September 26, the accused would again be produced in the court," Special Public Prosecutor Chandrakant Budhale told PTI.
According to Budhale, after his arrest from Sangli, police had recovered a laptop, 23 mobile handsets, 50 SIM cards from his house and the probe team is still scanning his call data records (CDR).
"Two mobile phones were recovered from Samir's custody and 23 cell phones from his house. They have been taken for analysis and the work of compiling the data obtained from the phones is underway. Therefore, the prosecution needed more time to interrogate him," he said adding. Police also need to question him about the places he had recced before the alleged crime, he added.
The prosecutor added that the statements of Samir's accomplice Jyoti Kamble and his two cousins-- Sushil Jadhav and Shridhar Jadhav-- were also recorded before the Magistrate under section 164 of CrPC as witness "to make the case watertight".
When contacted, Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Abhay Vartak told PTI that "since we wanted to ensure that Samir's basic human rights are protected, we brought a battery of 37 advocates in the court today."
He added that these advocates belonged to Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, which has been dealing with over 70 litigations "to support Hindu cause in different courts of the country".
Pansare, 82, and his wife, Uma were shot at by two youths on February 16, 2015, near their home in Kolhapur. Pansare died four days later at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai while his wife survived the attack suffering injuries that crippled her.