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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.