Under the NIA Act, the agency can probe only scheduled offences such as those falling under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)

Mumbai : The NIA on Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that it cannot probe into the murder of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar as the offence fell under the IPC and was not covered under the purview of NIA Act. Dabholkar, who spearheaded anti-superstition movement, was shot dead on August 20 by unidentified assailants in Pune. NIA counsel F R Shaikh informed a bench headed by Justice P V Hardas that 220 policemen were engaged in investigating the murder of Dabholkar and statements of 600 witnesses had already been recorded in this case.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by ex-scribe Ketan Tirodkar seeking investigation by a Central Agency into Dabholkar’s murder. An affidavit, filed by Suhas Warke, Superintendent, NIA, said prima facie it was a case of murder which fell under IPC and was being probed by police. Under the NIA Act, the agency can probe only scheduled offences such as those falling under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). On other hand, the PIL alleged that the murder was the handiwork of Hindu right wing activists and that the government has been very slow in prosecuting them.

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