Pune, Sep 3: A special court on Monday granted the custody of arms haul accused Sharad Kalaskar to the CBI for probing his alleged role in the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
Kalaskar was arrested last month by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the seizure of arms and ammunition from different parts of the state.
Kalaskar and three other accused in the arms haul case Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar and Shrikant Pangarkar were produced before Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Padalkar after their police remand ended.
The judge, responding to an application filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), allowed the agency to take the custody of Kalaskar in the Dabholkar killing case.
On Aug 29, Court had rejected the CBI's plea to hand over Kalaskar's custody to the agency, which is probing the Dabholkar murder case, from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
Special Judge V S Padalkar questioned as to why the CBI had not sought the custody of Kalaskar earlier even though a production warrant was issued by the Pune court on August 23.
The ATS arrested Kalaskar on August 10 and his custody was extended till September 3 on Tuesday with the ATS submitting that he had planned to hurl a bomb at a music festival in Pune. After the hearing, however, the CBI filed an application, seeking his custody.
The CBI claimed that Andure, who is in the agency's custody till August 30, and Kalaskar were together when Dabholkar was murdered, so the two accused have to be brought face to face.
CBI had last week claimed that the murders of Bengaluru-based journalist Gauri Lankesh and Dabholkar were linked.
Dabholkar, a Pune-based anti-superstition activist, was shot dead while he was on morning walk in August, 2013. Lankesh was shot dead in front of her residence in Bengaluru in September, 2017.