"It is a positive step. However, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar are still absconding and CBI should arrest them as early as possible," he said. Pointing out that CBI has still not been able to trace the bike and pistol used in the murder of Dabholkar, Hameed said the probing agency should recover these objects.

"Since both Akolkar and Pawar, who are Sanatan Sanstha members, are at large, they are posing as a danger to the society and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and CBI should now intensify their search and arrest them," he said. Hameed also said if Sanatan Sanstha feels the absconding suspects (Akolkar and Pawar) are innocent, it should ask them to surrender in court and prove their innocence.

CBI has charged Virendrasing Tawde with criminal conspiracy and murder in connection with the murder of Dabholkar in 2013. The Samiti is allegedly linked with Sanatan Sanstha, which had come under the scanner for the murder of another rationalist Govind Pansare in February 2015.

CBI sources said the charge sheet was filed against Tawde under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) among other charges. The Bombay High Court in May 2014 had handed over the matter to CBI to probe the murder of Dabholkar.

On August 20, 2013, the anti-superstition activist was shot dead by two unidentified men while he was on a morning walk on Omkareshwar Bridge here. The agency had arrested Tawde in June this year.


Sarang Akolkar, an alleged follower of Sanatan Sanstha, against whom a Red Corner Notice was issued by Interpol in July 2012 in connection with the 2009 Goa blast case on NIA request, is also under the scanner of the agency.