The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that it cannot probe the murder case of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar as it does not fall under the purview of the NIA Act, which was set up to probe terror cases across the nation. Dabholkar was killed on August 20 in Pune.
An affidavit filed by Dr Suhas Warke, a superintendent with the NIA, before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday statec that prima facie it was a murder case and is being probed by the right police department.
“The NIA Act, 2008, constituted an investigating agency at the national level to investigate and prosecute offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India and its states,” reads the affidavit.
This affidavit was filed in response to a PIL by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, seeking a probe by NIA alleging that Dabholkar’s murder was the handiwork of Hindu right-wing activists.
Warke, in the affidavit, said the PIL is based on the presumption that Dabholkar was murdered by Hindu right-wing activists.
“Just because there is a possibility that Hindu right-wing activists committed the offence and it was a well-planned assassination carried out using firearms does not bring it (the offence) under the purview of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the NIA Act,” reads the affidavit.
Additional public prosecutor FR Shaikh opposed the PIL, saying that 220 policemen were involved in probing the murder of Dabholkar. Accusing the Pune police of carrying out a “flawed” probe, the PIL said Dabholkar had been receiving threats for quite some time, which the state government was aware of.
A division bench of Justices PV Hardas and PN Deshmukh has kept the PIL for hearing on November 15.