Red-faced Shiv Sena tries to wash hands off former corporator Shrikant Pangarkar, accused of terror links

The Shiv Sena has tried its best to wash its hands off Shrikant Pangarkar, its former corporator who was arrested on Sunday for his links with a suspect held in connection with the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013.

Also Read:  With nearly 16-18 bomb blasts across the State, Sharad Kalaskar’s group plotted to rain terror and chaos in Maharashtra during Eid and Ganpati festivals

According to party leaders, Pangarkar left the organisation after being denied a ticket for the Jalna Municipal Council elections that year. He had been an elected representative in the Jalna civic body for ten years till then.

Also Read: Dabholkar, Pansare, Kulbargi and Lakesh murders inter-linked: Same group of killers involved in murders

According to Maharashtra’s Minister for Dairy Development Arjun Khotkar, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, Pangarkar had left the party and had been actively working for the Sanatan Sanstha.

However, Khotkar has left the Shiv Sena red-faced with his statement that many members of the party were still in touch with Pangarkar.

Also Read: Shiv Sena man Shrikant Pangarkar assembled bombs, funded purchase of explosives and boasted of ‘explosions’ to MoS Arjun Khotkar

Pangarkar had reportedly been travelling to different places in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, where the Sanstha had put down roots.

He was arrested by the Anti-Terror Squad of the Maharashtra police after Sachin Prakashrao Andure, accused of gunning down Dabholkar, allegedly named Pangarkar as the man who rode pillion with him when he shot the rationalist while he was on his morning walk.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

A Mumbai court on Monday remanded Pangarkar in the custody of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) till August 28.

According to police officials Pangarkar had obtained some knowledge about assembling explosives and was planning to set off crude bombs at different places in Maharashtra.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

The police have already beefed up security at several mosques in Mumbai, Pune and other places after some of the suspects arrested in the case confessed to planning attacks during Eid, which is later this week.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

Pangarkar is also accused of providing funds to Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, who were arrested after police seized country-made guns and explosives.

The weapons were stored in the home and office of Raut, who allegedly operated a real estate brokerage as front, according to police.

Source: The Tribune

Dabholkar, Pansare, Kulbargi and Lakesh murders inter-linked: Same group of killers involved in killings

As the CBI made one more arrest on Sunday, the realization is slowly dawning upon the investigating agencies including the Karnataka SIT, that all the murders of rationalists Dabholkar, Pansare, Kulbargi and journalist Gauri Lankesh are inter-linked and the same group of Hindutva hardliners supported from afar by the Sanatan Sanstha and its offshoot Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) were involved in the planning and execution of the targets.

Also Read:  With nearly 16-18 bomb blasts across the State, Sharad Kalaskar’s group plotted to rain terror and chaos in Maharashtra during Eid and Ganpati festivals

In fact, the same two weapons were possibly used in all four murders – forensic tests and reports have proved that there were two pistols that were used in the four murders.

The CBI team investigating the murder case of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar has claimed that it has arrested the alleged shooter who fired bullets at Dabholkar on August 20, 2013, reports News18.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

The CBI team has been able to nab the alleged shooter Sachin Prakashrao Andure, just two days before the fifth death anniversary of Dabholkar.

On Sunday, the CBI arrested a former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar who was riding pillion on the motorbike of the shooter Andure.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

Sachin Andure, a right wing Hindu activist, was a regular reader of Sanatan Prabhat, the mouthpiece of the Sanatan Sanstha.

According to sources, Sachin Andure’s name surfaced during the interrogation of three suspects arrested by the Maharashtra ATS on August 10.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar were arrested from Nala Sopara, whereas the third suspect Sudhanva Gondhlikar was arrested from Pune on the same day.

Vaibhav Raut is a member of the ‘Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti’. He has participated in several events organised by Hindu organisations, including the Sanatan Sanstha and the HJS.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

Sharad Kalaskar, who hails from Satara district, is also a right wing Hindu activist actively involved in protecting cows. He was working  with Vaibhav Raut in Nala Sopara.

Kalaskar during interrogation told the ATS he was involved in the Dabholkar murder.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

Sudhanva Gondhalekar is allegedly associated with ‘Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan’, an organisation headed by Sambhaji Bhide alias Bhide Guruji. PM Narendra Modi is a great admirer of Bhide who is also known as Bhide Guruji among his people.

Sudhanva has also shared dais with several members of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

ATS said that the arrests were made based on a secret information received on August 7, that certain people were conspiring terror activities in Pune, Satara, Solapur, Mumbai and Nala Sopara.

A huge cache of explosives, including 20 country made bombs and material to make IEDs, was seized along with several firearms from raids carried out at Nala Sopara, Pune and Solapur.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

ATS also arrested Shrikant Pangarkar, former Shiv Sena corporator from Jalna district on August 19. It is suspected that he financed the fire arms and explosives recovered from the three suspects.

If sources are to be believed, the secret information received by ATS was given by the Special Investigation Team from Karnataka probing the murder case of Journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

According to sources, the name of Vaibhav Raut and others surfaced during the interrogation of Amol Kale, who allegedly masterminded murder of Gauri Lankesh.

Amol Kale was arrested by Karnataka Police on May 21, on charges of attempt to murder.

However, his custody was taken by the SIT of Bengaluru police as it was suspected that he was involved in the murder plot of Gauri Lankesh.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different outfits, registered in different States under different names

A diary was also seized from Kale which has several names of targets, including that of Gauri Lankesh.

The Karnataka police SIT investigating the Gauri Lankesh murder claimed that about 36 to 40 persons were on the hit list of Kale and gang.

The families of Dabholkar and late Communist member Govind Pansare have been given security following inputs from Kale’s diary, which reportedly had the names of the family members on the hit list.

Also Read: Shoot her in the head as it was done in Kalburgi murder, Gauri Lankesh killer taught during training

Sources claim that the diary is written in code language and also talks about 50 potential shooters from Karnataka and Maharashtra who were to be recruited to carry out the operations. About 40 persons were on the hit list of the shooters.

Several of these were being trained in using guns, pistols and air guns in Belgavi, Hubballi and Pune.

Also Read: Gau Rakshaks chant anti-police, anti-govt slogans, take out protest march demanding release of terror suspect Vaibhav Raut

When Amol Kale was interrogated by the SIT about the names in the diary, he revealed information about Vaibhav Raut and others. The information was passed to Maharashtra ATS.

Based on this information, the Call Data Records of Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar were tracked by the ATS, which revealed information regarding a terror conspiracy and their suspicious activity was exposed.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar were detained by the ATS and after several hours of questioning, the residence and shop of Vaibhav Raut, located in Nala Sopara, were raided and both were arrested.

Another suspect named Sudhanva Gondhlikar was also arrested from Pune as he was found to be constantly in touch with the Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar.

Also Read: Protest rally at Nala Sopara in support of arrested Vaibhav Raut was organised by Sanatan Sanstha and HJS

Apart from firearms and explosives, in the raids conducted at Nala Sopara, Pune and Solapur, ATS also seized vehicle number plates, motor bikes and parts of pistols along with other articles, including several documents handwritten in code language.

ATS suspects that these articles were used in the murders carried out in Maharashtra and Karnataka, including that of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh. Raut’s office was used as a store-room by the killers.

During interrogation of Sharad Kalaskar regarding these murders, the ATS claims he revealed that he played a major role in the murder of Dr Narendra Dabholkar. He also gave information about Sachin Andure’s role in the murder.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut wanted to do a repeat of Malegaon Blasts

Based on this input, Sachin was detained by the ATS from Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on August 14. After questioning him for several hours, it was found that he was involved in the killing of Dabholkar. The information was shared with the CBI team investigating the case after which he was arrested by the CBI.

It has been found that Sachin, who was staying in Aurangabad was one of the shooters, who fired at Dabholkar. He has also been trained to use firearms in different parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

CBI stated that the conspiracy to kill Dabholkar was hatched by Virendrasinh Tawde along with Sachin and others.

Virendrasinh Tawde, a member of the Sanatan, was arrested in 2016 for his involvement in the murder of Dabholkar, he is also an accused in the murder of Govind Pansare.

Sachin Andure’s arrest is considered as an important development in the Dabholkar Murder case.

Speaking to News18, Hamid Dabholkar, son of late Narendra Dabholkar, said “CBI should reach the masterminds of this conspiracy. I hope that the killers of Pansare, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh will also be arrested soon”.

with inputs from News18.com

Kerala Floods: Private Vehicles Charging Rs 25,000 Per Head To Ferry Stranded People Over Distances of 300-400 Kms

According to a Mandrem, North Goa resident Albert D’Souza, whose wife Sandra D’Souza was stranded at Chalakudy in Potta, Kerala, private passenger Tempo vehicles and buses were charging as much as Rs 24,000 to Rs 25,000 per head to take them to Bangalore, which is an approximate 350 km from where they were stranded, says a TOI report.

IndiaScoops.com has learnt that some stranded people in diffferent parts off Kerala, were asked to shell out amounts ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 by bus operators to bring them to safer places, where other means of transport were available.

A businessman from Goregaon in suburban Mumbai who returned from Kerala after being stranded for 6 days, claimed he spent nearly Rs 50,000/- to get back home, travelling first via a truck for about 100 kms and then a 50-seater bus, which charged him Rs 25,000/- for a journey of about 300 kms.

Four wheelers and Tempos, plying in flood-affected areas were charging people Rs 2500 to Rs 5000 for a distance of even 25 to 50 kms.

For distances more than 50 kms, people were asked to shell out over Rs 10,000, claim those who have returned from the flood-ravaged parts of Kerala.

According to a report in the Times of India, a group of 10 persons from Mandrem, Pernem, who were attending a retreat at Muringoor, Chalakudy in Potta, Kerala, went through a harrowing time during the flood situation in the southern state last week. The group have managed to leave Kerala and are currently on their way back home to Goa, say family members.

“My wife (Sandra D’Souza, 48, who was on her fifth consecutive visit to the retreat centre) somehow managed to call me up and told me that the flood water had crossed knee level,” Mandrem resident Albert D’Souza told the Sunday edition of the Times of India (STOI).

“I managed to contact my wife over the phone on Saturday morning. She said that 10-12 seater tempo vehicles were charging Rs 24,000 per head to take them to Bangalore, a distance of about 350km. I told the group not to bother about the money and to board the vehicle,” said D’Souza, who runs a local tourism business, according to the TOI report.

“On Saturday afternoon, they were on their way to Bengaluru, Karnataka. From there, they will take a flight, train or bus, whatever option is available to get back to Goa,” he added.

The group (seven women and 3 men in the age group of 48 to 60 years) were on their annual visit to the Divine Retreat Centre at Pota and reached their destination on August 11. On August 12, they informed their family members that the area was receiving non-stop, torrential rainfall.

On August 15, they made another call to Goa informing family members that the flood water level at the retreat centre was rising, reports STOI.

After that call, family members of the Goan group panicked and started praying and calling friends in Bangalore and other parts of south India desperately seeking help to get their stranded loved ones back home.

It is learnt that the group was without food, running water in the toilets and bathrooms and without electricity for two-and-half days. Deprived of food and sleep, the retreat participants were only too happy to get the news that some people had delivered foodstuff such as dal, rice, bread and bananas at the retreat centre on Friday afternoon.

In the evening, an air force truck delivered them food. After spending the night at the retreat centre, the group left the Muringoor at 8.30am and took an rickshaw to Thrissur, reports STOI.

Main Shooter in Narendra Dabholkar Murder Case Arrested, claims Mah ATS, CBI

New Delhi/Mumbai: The CBI on Saturday arrested the alleged main shooter in the murder case of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra, the agency said.

According to PTI, Sachin Prakasrao Andure, a resident of Aurangabad, was nabbed from Pune late in the evening, a CBI spokesperson said.

He will be produced before a Pune court tomorrow, he added.

Andure was believed to be one of the shooters who fired at Dabholkar while he was on a morning walk on the Onkareshwar Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013, the CBI spokesperson said.

Earlier, the CBI chargesheet had named Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, both absconding, as the shooters.

Asked about this and the agency’s latest claim that Andure was one of the shooters, the spokesperson said the probe was going on.

Andure was arrested on a tip-off from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which had last week arrested three persons for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to carry out blasts in the state.

One of the arrested accused gave the input about Andure’s involvement in Dabholkar’s murder, which the ATS shared with the CBI, the spokesperson said.

During the questioning of the accused in police custody, one of them revealed about his direct participation in Dabholkar’s murder, the ATS said in a statement.

“He further revealed that along with him, one more person was also directly involved and they used a motorcycle,” it added.

Considering the importance of the revelation, the ATS shared the details of the second person with the CBI, based on which the agency carried out its own preliminary investigation and arrested Andure, the statement said.

In June 2016, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Virendra Tawde under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the IPC, among other charges.

Tawde was allegedly the mastermind of the killing, the CBI had said.

Late in the evening, a senior Maharashtra ATS official told PTI that of the three men arrested in the blast conspiracy case, it was Sharad Kalaskar who was also allegedly involved in the killing of Dabholkar.

The Bombay high court had, in May 2014, handed over the Dabholkar murder case to the CBI.

The CBI had arrested Tawde in June, 2016. An alleged follower of “Sanatan Sanstha” activist Sarang Akolkar, against whom a Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol on a request from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in July 2012 in connection with the 2009 Goa blast case, is also under the scanner of the agency.

Dabholkar’s murder and the murder of communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare in a similar manner in February 2015 had sent shock waves throughout the state.

Source:  PTI

60 youth trained in firing guns: “Gun that killed Lankesh, Pansare and Kalburgi was our ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ to destroy ‘evil’, we worship it”

BENGALURU:: The forensic analyses that showed the same country-made 7.65mm gun was used to kill scholar MM Kalburgi and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh threw up one obvious question:

Were the alleged killers so naive as to not destroy the weapon after committing the first crime?

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

Amol Kale and Amit Degvekar, two of the conspirators arrested in the Gauri Lankesh case, told their interrogators that they believed their gun was the talisman that helped them accomplish their mission of eliminating anti-Hindutva forces, and even likened it to Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra used to kill demons in Hindu mythology, reports The Times of India.

Also Read: Shoot her in the head as it was done in Kalburgi murder, Gauri Lankesh killer taught during training

“Just like the Sudarshana Chakra killed the unscrupulous, our pistol will shoot those who talk ill about our religion,” sources in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Gauri killing quoted the duo Kale and Degvekar as saying.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

Sources in Karnataka police said Kale and Degvekar’s claims cannot be doubted, considering that the forensic tests have indicated the same gun was used to kill CPI leader Govind Pansare too in early 2015 at Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

They pointed out that for all the meticulous planning and execution of the two killings, the accused were driven by blind hatred and were inclined to believe in mythical powers in their weapon of crime.

However, the SIT is yet to seize the 7.65mm pistol used in the murders. Recently, the Maharashtra anti-terror squad arrested three men and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from them, including 11 country-made pistols.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killer

Senior police officials from Karnataka and Maharashtra have decided to send five pistols to the forensic science laboratory in Ahmedabad to verify if they match with the weapon used in killing Gauri, Kalburgi and Pansare.

Rajesh D Bangera, another arrested accused, told SIT that he had trained at least 60 youths in using firearms, pistols in particular.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

The 50-year-old resident of Madikeri joined a Goa-based right wing organisation in 1997 and was trained by a person they fondly called ‘senapati’ or ‘senadipati’, meaning army general. “I met Amol Kale in late 2000. As per Kale’s directions, I trained more than 60 youths,” Bangera told SIT.

“Amol Kale wanted to send a message by killing anti-Hindutva elements and started looking for youths with strong religious sentiments,” SIT sources said, quoting Bangera.

Source: The Times of India

Hindutva hardliner, anti-intellectual extremist group neutralized, claims SIT

BENGALURU: With the arrest of 12 men in connection with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the special investigation team (SIT) says it is not only moving closer to solving the case, but has also dismantled the entire team that was set up to eliminate progressive writers and thinkers in Karnataka, claims a report in The New Indian Express (TNIE).

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

It is learnt that the leaders of the radical outfit, allegedly floated by a right-wing organisation, that carried out the murder of Gauri and scholar Dr M M Kalburgi, in which arrests have to be made yet, had trained more than 20 youths in using firearms.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

During the course of the probe, the SIT had zeroed in on over 20 youths recruited by Amol Kale alias Bhaisaab, the head of operations of the covert team in Karnataka, and his associates Sujith Kumar alias Praveen and Manohar Edave alias Manoj.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

They included some of the accused arrested in connection with Gauri’s murder.

“The recruits were spread across the state and all of them were summoned for questioning. Only after we were convinced that they were not involved in Gauri Lankesh’s murder, they were let off with a stern warning. Many of them have admitted that accused Rajesh D Bangera had trained them in firing pistols. Some of them will be treated as witnesses in the case,” a SIT official said.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

The SIT believes that it has identified everyone who was trained by the gang and hopes that murders or attacks on rationalists and writers will not recur in the state, at least for some years.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

“We have not spared even a single person associated with the gang and have gathered details of each. Their activities will be on the police radar, as we have shared their details with agencies concerned, including the state Intelligence and the jurisdictional police,” the official added.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

Amol Kale’s arrest is also touted as a major setback to the covert operations team.

“As Kale did everything, from recruiting new members to planning and executing murders, his arrest itself is a blow to his team and its members. Besides, key recruiters like Sujith Kumar and Manohar Edave, trainer Rajesh Bangera and other key members have also been arrested. The team has been left without leadership. Also, with each of its member being identified, we could say it’s almost impossible for them to rebuild the team,” the officer said.

Source: The New Indian Express

Gau Rakshaks chant anti-police, anti-govt slogans, take out protest march demanding release of terror suspect Vaibhav Raut

MUMBAI: About 100 persons who claimed to be Gau Rakshaks or cow protectors, took out a protest march against the Maharashtra ATS demanding the release of arrested terror suspect Vaibhav Raut from whose residence and office over 30 pistols and a huge cache of explosives and other arms and ammunition have been seized.

The protesters chanted anti-police and anti-government slogans and said the BJP-led government in Maharashtra was trying to appease the Muslim community prior to the elections next year.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

The Bhandari community and cow vigilantes on Friday took out a march along the streets of Nalasopara to show support to arrested terror plot suspect Vaibhav Raut by the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), reports the Times of India.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

Raut (40) who is in police custody till Saturday was arrested on August 10 from his Bhandaraly home in Nalasopara (west) for criminal conspiracy and planning to carry out bomb blasts to disturb the communal harmony.

Around 200 protesters joined the march that began from Bhandaraly village and culminated at the station.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

The protestors raised slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’ amidst heavy police bandobast.

The protestors said that Raut, who belongs to the Bhandari community and is well known in the village for his Hindutva principles, was falsely booked by the ATS.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

The ATS has claimed to have seized explosives and arms and raw materials from Raut’s three-storey bungalow where he lives in a joint family,

The ATS has been conducting searches at his home and office since then. On Wednesday, the ATS had seized his vehicle, suspected to have been used to transport explosives.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

A team of plain clothes ATS officers have been keeping a watch in the village since the past few days.

The Palghar police too conducted a march past on Thursday, ahead of the protest, reports the Times of India.

Protestors worn T-shirts with Raut’s poster and demanded that he be released.

With inputs from The Times of India

Maharashtra government seeks to revive ban proposal on Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha

Mumbai: Immediately after the arrest of Vaibhav Raut, a suspected member of Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha, the home department has decided to remind the union government of a proposal about banning the Sanatan, which is pending with the union home ministry since 2015.

Also Read: Film “Saffron Terror” based on the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh goes on floor

An official from the home department said, “After the arrest of Raut, we have taken serious note of the Sanstha. We have decided to send a letter to the union ministry seeking the status of the proposed ban.”

The erstwhile Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government had sent one such proposal in 2008 and in 2011 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act; however, it was rejected by the union home ministry.

Also Read: “Saffron Terror” To Expose Inside Secrets, Terror Activities and Murder Plots of radical Hindutva Outfits Sanatan Sanstha and HJS

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government sent a fresh proposal on November 13, 2015, to the union home ministry regarding the ban, but it is still in limbo.

Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more

Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away today at 5.05 pm in Delhi. He was 93.

In a statement, AIIMS said that former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee passed away at 5.05 pm on Thursday. “It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former prime minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5.05 pm,” the hospital said in a statement.

“Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today,” it said.

atal-bihari-vajpayee-death

In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

atal-bihari-vajpayee-demise

“His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family, BJP karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness,” Modi said.

“Atal ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit,” he said.

Man who killed scholar M M Kalburgi, already arrested for Gauri Lankesh murder?

While interrogating Ganesh Miskin – a member of Hindu extremist group Sri Rama Sena, who was arrested in July on the suspicion of being the person who rode the motorcycle with Gauri Lankesh’s assassin – the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Karnataka police has reportedly learnt that his recruiter, Amol Kale – the former convenor of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) – is the killer of Kannada scholar and rationalist, M. M. Kalburgi, says a NewsClick.in report.

Also Read: Shoot her in the head as it was done in Kalburgi murder, Gauri Lankesh killer taught during training

As per a Kannada news report, Miskin has revealed that it was Kale who shot dead Kalburgi at the doorstep of his house three years ago, claims NewsClick.in.

Several online websites as well as a report in The Indian Express confirms that SIT sources revealed that Kale is the killer of Kalburgi and was also connected with Sudhanva Gondhalekar who was recently arrested by the Maharashtra ATS for possession of a huge cache of arms and explosives along with two others.

Also Read: 36 Targets and 50 Shooters: Gauri Lankesh Murder Suspect’s Diary Reveals Chilling Details

The SIT is viewing Gondhalekar as a person of interest because he was closely associated with Amol Kale, 37, a former HJS convenor in Pune, who has been identified as the head of operations of a covert Hindutva group that is believed to have executed the Lankesh murder, reports The Indian Express.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

Sudhanva Gondhalekar, 39, a businessman who was associated with the Shri Shiv Pratishtan Hindustan and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, who was arrested in Pune by the Maharashtra ATS on August 10, is a person of interest to the SIT on account of his links with two key arrested suspects in the Lankesh case and on account of seizure of a large cache of guns from his possession.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

He has now claimed that the accumulated arms and explosives were to support the Maratha agitation in Maharashtra, a claim the ATS are taking with a pinch of salt.

HJS is a splinter group of the Sanatan Sanstha, one of whose associates was arrested only a few days ago by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad for being in possession of explosives.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

It was to carry out covert operations for Sanathan Sanstha that Kale had recruited Ganesh Miskin three years ago, along with Parashuram Waghmare, who is a former Sri Rama Sena activist and the person suspected of being the shooter of Gauri Lankesh.

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The SIT has also reportedly learnt that Kale was ordered to carry out Kalburgi’s assassination by a person named ‘Kaka’ alias Shankar Narayan, who has died six months ago.

It was Narayan’s right hand man – associated with one of hindutva outfits in Maharashtra such as Sanathan Sanstha or HJS – who drew the plans for Gauri Lankesh’s assassination.

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Waghmare, the suspected shooter of Gauri Lankesh, was trained by Kale using the network of extremists related to Sanathan Sanstha and HJS in Karnataka.

Wanted for his suspected involvement in Gauri’s murder, Kale was arrested in June.

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If Miskin’s reported revelation is accurate, the shooter of Kalburgi is already arrested for his involvement in Gauri’s murder, says a NewsClick.in report.

It has previously been established that the same weapon was in used in the two murders after comparing ballistic reports and the marks on the firing pins of the cartridges found in both scenes of murder.

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Now, emerging evidence suggests that the same network of the Hindutva terror groups are involved in the two murders. Kale has confessed to the SIT that there was a group of 20-30 people who were given arms training to carry out subversive activities across Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.

He has also revealed that the masterminds include a retired army colonel, but the SIT has not been able to find any direct evidence so far.

with inputs from NewsClick.in, Indian Express and agencies