Sandip Shinde (31), a Sanatan ‘Sadhak’ was taken into custody last night by a team of Pune police which descended at the ashram in Ramnathi village in Ponda, 30 kms away from here.
Goa police had also accompanied their Pune counterparts during a search at the ashram premises which continued for almost an hour.
“Shinde was brought to Ponda police station for recording his statement,” Ponda police inspector C L Patil told PTI today. Later, he was taken to Pune.
The 69-year-old social activist was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne unidentified assailants on August 20 in Pune when he was out for a morning walk on the Omkareshwar Temple bridge in the city.
Earlier, the Sanstha had sought to distance itself from the rationalist’s killing in the backdrop of reports that the Hindu outfit could have a role in the murder.
Denying the allegations, it had said that they had differences with his ideology not with him as an individual, while conceding that Dabholkar did “commendable” work.
Also, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had hinted at the possibility of the involvement of right-wing organisation behind the killing of Dabholkar by equating his assassination with that of Mahatma Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol has said that the killers of Dabholkar had covered their tracks well, ensuring that no proof was left behind.
“The culprits who seem to be contract killers, have ensured that no proof is left behind,” Pol said last night after the activist’s son and daughter met him to know the progress of investigation into the murder.
The family said they were disappointed as there was no concrete lead in the case but added that they had full faith in the police, which should trace the mastermind behind the murder.
According to sources, as part of investigations, several individuals and organisations opposed to Dabholkar’s anti-superstition movement are being questioned.
The team has already questioned activists of the Sanstha at various places.
Police have appealed to people to come forward to give more information about the crime and made it clear that no arrest has so far been made in the case for which 19 squads have been set up to trace the assailants.