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  India   All India  12 Oct 2017  ‘Fringe group’ behind Gauri Lankesh killing traced?

‘Fringe group’ behind Gauri Lankesh killing traced?

Published : Oct 12, 2017, 2:35 am IST
Updated : Oct 12, 2017, 2:35 am IST

Sources say accused belongs to right-wing group from Maharashtra & Karnataka.

Gauri Lankesh
 Gauri Lankesh

Bengaluru: A fringe group with alleged pro-right wing leanings is behind the murder of journalist-cum-activist Gauri Lankesh, high-level sources told this newspaper on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, adding that “it is more than likely that the same men were also involved in the murder of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi”.

The sources said the “bike-borne” assailant, who killed the journalist outside her home on September 5, is reportedly from a new fringe Right-wing group from Karnataka and Maharashtra. “The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the Gauri murder case, has reportedly identified the assailant and is tracking him to lay their hands on his network. They have his sketch but have not released it in public over concerns that they could lose him. The SIT has allegedly tracked the killer’s movements and it seems that he had not travelled a long distance to get to his target that evening,” said the officer.

“The motive behind Gauri’s murder will become clearer with the first arrest in the case, which should be soon, but the SIT has learnt that the late journalist had reportedly rubbed many people on the wrong side because of her liberal views and often sharp comments on social media, which did not go down well with many people,” he added.

Drawing similarities between the Kalburgi and Gauri murder cases, the officer said that the biggest challenge before the SIT and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is investigating the Kalburgi case, is the absence of eyewitnesses. “There are no eyewitnesses in both the cases. Kalburgi’s wife had very briefly seen the assailant, when she had opened the door on that fateful morning on August 30, 2015 but she couldn’t clearly remember the face, In Gauri’s case, also there are no eyewitnesses,” said the officer.

Kalburgi was killed at “contact range with two tandem (serial) bullets, which were shot at his forehead. Gauri was killed with three bullets, which were fired from a distance of three to four feet. The killers had used contraband, multiple shot 7.65mm pistol,” said the officer.

Tags: gauri lankesh murder, m.m. kalburgi, sit