BENGALURU: The special investigation team (SIT) team from Karnataka which is in Mumbai seems to have zeroed in on the weapon used to assassinate journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh on September 5. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its report to the JMFC court in Pune, has stated that accused Sachin Andure revealed during interrogation that it was the same weapon used for killing Gauri Lankesh. Citing this, the CBI officers had sought custody of Andure for three days and the court had granted it.
Sachin Andure has revealed that he had handed over a 7.65 mm pistol and three live rounds to his cousin’s wife.
The Karnataka SIT is also interrogating Andure in this regard even as investigating agencies are not ruling out that the same weapon was used in killing not just Gauri Lankesh, but also social activist-rationalist-author Narendra Achyut Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 in Pune, and former vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad.
The pistol, according to the sources, is a country-made 7.65 mm and Sachin Andure, fearing arrest, had handed it over to his wife’s cousin Shubham Surale to hide it. When Subham learnt that Andure has been arrested, he allegedly handed over a plastic handbag to his cousin Ajinkya Surale — Andure’s brother-in-law.
However, “Ajinkya passed on the handbag to Rohit Reghe, from whose home in Aurangabad, the pistol was recovered,” the CBI’s statement read. “The central agency has since seized the black pistol with a magazine, three 7.65mm live rounds, a plastic handbag and a couple of cellphones. The pistol has been sent for a ballistic report,” an official said.