NEW DELHI: The investigation into the sensational murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has unearthed fresh leads that may help crack the murder cases of three other progressive thinkers — Dr MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar — who were allegedly killed by ultra-right Hindu elements.
While the CID has stepped up the probe into the Kalburgi murder case, the CBI sleuths on Saturday arrested the man suspected to have shot Dabholkar dead. In both the cases, the information was provided by the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Gauri Lankesh murder case.
SIT sources said the name of Sachin Prakashrao Andure, who has been arrested by the CBI in connection with Dabholkar’s murder, was allegedly found in a diary they seized from Amol Kale alias Bhai Saab, the suspected mastermind behind Gauri Lankesh’s murder.
“We have shared all the details that have emerged during the interrogation of all the 12 accused arrested in Gauri’s murder with the agencies concerned,” according to an SIT official.
Links to other three murders?
“We have shared all the details from the interrogation of the accused persons in Gauri’s murder with the agencies concerned. The information is related to the other three murders of rationalists and also about other activities carried out by right-wing extremists. Andure’s name and a few details about him had figured in the diary seized from Kale and the same was passed on to the CBI probing Dabholkar’s murder and Maharashtra SIT, which is looking into Govind Pansare’s murder,” an SIT official said.
The Anti Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra Police had arrested three men — Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar and Sharad Kasalkar — associated with radical Hindu outfits 10 days back and had seized arms and explosives, meant to allegedly carry out terrorist activities, from them. The arrests were based on the information from SIT.
The SIT strongly suspects that Gondhalekar had supplied the pistol to Amol Kale to be used to murder Gauri and it was returned to Gondhalekar after the crime. “At least one of the 11 pistols has to be the same used in Gauri’s murder, and which was used earlier for killing Dr Kalburgi,” the officer added.
SIT awaits forensic reports
The Maharashtra ATS had seized 11 country-made pistols from Sudhanwa Gondhalekar and the SIT is waiting for its forensic reports. “Once they get the reports, we will match them with that of the pistol used in the murder of Gauri Lankesh,” an SIT officer said.