Maharashtra Police has detained two more persons from neighbouring Karnataka who are closely related to Sanatan Sanshta activist Samir Gaikwad, arrested in connection with the murder of veteran Communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare.
The detention was made from Sankheshwar area, where Gaikwad received his preliminary education, of Belgaum district in Karnataka yesterday.
The duo--Sushil Jadhav and Shridhar Jadhav-- were subsequently taken to Sangli in Maharashtra, where they were interrogated in the presence of Gaikwad, a senior police official from Kolhapur, requesting annonymity, told PTI.
Interrogation of both the detainees, who are Gaikwad's maternal cousins, is still on and both have not been given a clean chit yet, he said.
They are also s said to be associated with the right wing outfit Sanatan Sansthan.
Both the brothers were picked up by the investigating team on the basis of Gaikwad's call data records (CDR). The Special Investigation Team (SIT) was keeping a close watch over the call details of Gaikwad and his frequent contacts whom he used to make calls very often, the official said.
The voice samples of both the brothers have also been taken and have been sent to a laboratory in Gujarat for multi-layered sound clearance, he said.
Before interrogating Gaikwad's cousins, police also questioned Gaikwad's mother Shanta, his brothers Sachin Gaikwad and Sandeep Gaikwad and let them off.
After the arrest of Gaikwad from Sangli, Maharashtra Police had recovered a laptop, 23 mobile handsets, 50 sim cards from his possession. The probe team is still scanning his call data records (CDR).
They also interrogated a woman--Jyoti Kamble-- who was picked up from Kanjurmarg in Mumbai and is exploring her link with these two brothers, the police official said.
He said more detentions are likely in the coming days based on Gaikwad's call records.
Gaikwad, an active member of 'Sanatan Sansthan' since 1998, was arrested after police went through his "innumerable" phone call records and leads obtained through electronic surveillance by the SIT, set up to track down Pansare's killers.
He was produced in a court at Kolhapur in western Maharashtra which remanded him in police custody till September 23.
Pansare (81) was gunned down outside his home in Sagar Mala locality of Kolhapur city on February 16 and succumbed to his injuries on February 20 at Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital.
The senior CPI leader was a prominent social activist in Maharashtra and worked for the welfare of the poor and suppressed. He was also at the forefront of the toll agitation in Kolhapur.
Meanwhile, Virendra Marathe, managing trustee of Sanatan Sanstha, told PTI that his trust will provide all necessary help including legal aid to free Gaikwad, claiming that he is innocent and police has falsely booked him in the case.