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  India   All India  01 Jul 2018  Lankesh murder: 36 targets, 50 shooters listed in killer’s diary

Lankesh murder: 36 targets, 50 shooters listed in killer’s diary

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 1, 2018, 6:32 am IST
Updated : Jul 1, 2018, 6:32 am IST

Most of the targets are based in Maharashtra, and about 10 are from K’taka, including women activists deemed by the conspirators to be “anti-Hindu”.

Parshuram Waghmare and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh (Photo: File)
 Parshuram Waghmare and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh (Photo: File)

Bengaluru: Chilling details about a Hindutva fringe group identifying 36 potential targets and training 50 shooters to carry out the assassinations have emerged with the decoding of entries in the diary of a suspect in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

While the 50 would-be assassins, recruited and trained to handle guns and petrol bombs, have been dispatched to different parts of the country and are waiting for instructions from their handlers, all that the 36 potential targets have in common are their strong views against bigotry and communalism, a police source said.

Most of the targets are based in Maharashtra, and about 10 are from Karnataka, including women activists deemed by the conspirators to be “anti-Hindu”.

The diary of Amol Kale, a suspect in Lankesh’s murder case who was, in fact, arrested for conspiring to kill Kannada writer and rationalist Prof K.S. Bhagwan, has entries in a coded language about “anti-Hindu” rationalists, writers and speakers and shooters recruited and trained to kill them.

After decoding the entries about potential shooters and their targets, the Karnataka police said it, along with its counterparts in other states, has intensified the search for these men.

Sources said that Kale approached these potential shooters during programmes organised by right-wing 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 shown in 2012 by hoisting a Pakistani flag to stir up communal trouble in his hometown in Vijayapura district.

The source revealed that the gang involved in the killing of Lankesh has a wide network spread across at least five states and comprised at least 60 people. He also said that the same weapon was used to shoot Lankesh, and rationalists Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi.

Recruitment of potential shooters, sources said, began around 2014-2015 and picked up pace till the assassination of Lankesh. It slowed down as the SIT was in pursuit of Lankesh’s killers, and completely stopped with the arrest of those involved in her killing.

It is learnt that these potential shooters have been sent to different cities in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and they are waiting for instructions from their handlers.

Tags: gauri lankesh murder, parshuram waghmare
Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru