Pune, July 21 :
Former Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol Monday sent defamation notice seeking Rs.100 crore (Rs.one billion) in damages from the editor and reporter of a English news magazine for alleging that he sought help of a ‘tantrik’ to solve the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
Pol told media persons here that he has sent the notice to editor Krishna Prasad and reporter Ashish Khaitan of Outlook news magazine for the article in its July 14 issue which, he claimed, was defamatory.
The article has claimed, among other things, that desperate to solve the Dabholkar murder 11 months ago and amidst growing public pressure, the Pune police had allegedly taken the help of a ‘tantrik’ to get clues to the killers.
Lawyer Harshad Nimbalkar, who was present, said that Pol had already denied the contentions in the article which were “per se defamatory, false, frivolous and intended for cheap publicity” that lowered the public standing of the retired police officer who was conferred the President’s Medal in 2012.
The article had claimed that police sought the help of a retired cop-cum-tantrik, Manish Thakur to “summon the soul” of Dabholkar to get clues which could unravel his murder Aug 20 last year.
Pol, who plans to file a separate criminal case against the reporter, pointed out that he (the reporter) had met him and he had clearly denied using supernatural methods like engaging a ‘tantrik’ to solve the case – which is currently being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
He also denied that he had ever met or contacted the ‘tantrik’ Thakur for performing a ‘planchette’ in his office chamber to solve the murder case.
The newsmagazine article created a furore among rationalists with Dabholkar’s family members, son Hamid and daughter Mukta, demanding a probe into the allegations.