Pune, Jan 21 IANS | 9 months ago

Two suspected arms dealers, already in custody since August 2013 for involvement in various crimes, were Tuesday charged with the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, officials said here.

Manish Nagori (24) and Vilas Khandelwal (23), both hailing from Ichalkaranji town in Kolhapur, were presented before a magistrate in the afternoon and were sent to police custody till Jan 28.

Anti-superstition activist Dabholkar was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding assailants Aug 20 near the Omkareshwar temple.

Nagori and Khandelwal were charged with the killing on the basis of a ballistics report of a gun found in their possession when they were arrested in August 2013.

Additional Police Commissioner (Crime) S. Salunkhe said the ballistics reports and the bullets recovered from Dabholkar's body showed similarities.

Nagori and Khandelwal were arrested by police in Thane, along with Rahul Mali and Santosh Bagade, in an extortion case involving a Mumbra-based businessman, four days after Dabholkar was killed in Pune.

They have also been charged in an arms case and for the killing of a Pune University security guard in May 2012.

The stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) was imposed on Nagori and nine others and they were shifted to Thane jail in January.

(Posted on 22-01-2014)

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