BENGALURU: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh strongly suspects the role of four top rung leaders, including a retired Indian Army Colonel, of a right-wing organisation, to be behind the murder.
With investigations pointing towards their possible involvement, the SIT is trying to gather clinching evidence against them, sources in the SIT told TNIE.
The four persons are suspected to have given the ‘order’ to Amol Kale to eliminate Gauri, who reportedly invited their wrath by making derogatory speeches against Hindu religion.
A senior SIT official, on condition of anonymity, admitted that the role of the four men was strongly suspected in the murder.
“The four hold key positions in a right-wing organisation and one among them is a retired Colonel. Though we believe that the call for the murder was given by them, there is no substantial evidence against them. We are working on gathering evidence against them,” the official said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the organisation is trying hard to shield the absconding accused persons in the case.
“There are at least three accused persons involved in the case, who are still at large, and we have information that the organisation is helping and funding them to evade arrest,” the official added.
The probe earlier had established that Amol planned and executed Gauri’s murder. Though he had masterminded the killing, SIT suspected he had carried out the murder at the behest of other conspirators.
Right wing outfit funded murder
It is learnt that the right wing outfit had funded the entire operation.
“Amol Kale was being paid at least B1.25 lakh every month since planning the operation to kill Gauri began in January 2017. The money was pumped by the outfit to arrange manpower and logistics as part of the mission,” the official said.