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?
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.