Bengaluru: A diary seized from Gauri Lankesh murder suspect Amol Kale has revealed chilling details of not only the senior journalist’s murder but also details of plans to target 36 others.
While most of the targets identified in the diary are from Maharashtra, 10 are from Karnataka, sources close to the investigation told CNN-News18. Those marked for assassination in Karnataka include women activists deemed by the conspirators to be “anti-Hindu”, they added.
The diary is mostly written in code and besides targets, it also identifies 50 potential ‘shooters’ from Maharashtra and Karnataka to be recruited for the operations. Some of them were being trained in the use of firearms like guns, pistols, air guns and to make petrol bombs in Belgaum, Hubli and Pune, the diary reportedly revealed.
According to sources, the diary further revealed that Kale zeroed in on the shooters during conclaves held by Hindutva outfits in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa based on who among them was “the most daring”.
Parshuram Waghmare, who allegedly pulled the trigger on Lankesh outside her home on September 5 last year, was chosen for the “daring” he had showed in 2012 by hoisting a Pakistani flag to stir up communal trouble in his hometown in Vijayapura district .
Waghmare was allegedly paid Rs 3,000 in advance for bus charges and food expenses before the murder and Rs 10,000 for a job “well done” a month later.
Lankesh was killed by two bike-borne men outside her home on the night of September 5, 2017 while returning from office. The SIT has arrested six people in connection with the case and are on the lookout for at least three co-conspirators. The accused allegedly killed Lankesh because of what they believed were “anti-Hindu” views.
The SIT has established that the weapon used to kill Lankesh was the same one that was used to kill Professor Kalburgi three years ago, and Left-leaning thinker Govind Pansare before that in Mumbai.