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  India   All India  16 Sep 2017  Bullets that killed Gauri Lankesh untraceable

Bullets that killed Gauri Lankesh untraceable

THE ASIAN AGE. | BALA CHAUHAN
Published : Sep 16, 2017, 1:49 am IST
Updated : Sep 16, 2017, 7:09 am IST

All four must bear the markings of the Khadki Ordnance Factory in Pune, India’s only such facility.

Gauri Lankesh
 Gauri Lankesh

Bengaluru: The biggest challenge before investigators probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh is not just homing in on the pot-bellied man who pulled the trigger or the men who sanctioned her killing, but tracking the origin of the four bullets that tore through Gauri’s chest on the night of September 5, killing her instantly.

All four bullets were 7.65mm (non-prohibited bore) bullets. All four must bear the markings of the Khadki Ordnance Factory in Pune, India’s only such facility. 

But that’s where the SIT has hit a brick wall. While all bullets, manufactured from Khadki are supplied to legitimate firearms dealers across the country, it also enters the huge grey market from where anyone — with or without a license for a gun — can acquire these bullets. These bullets can’t be traced back to the buyer or seller. One, because of the sheer volumes that are sold, and the second, because the ‘manufacturing lot number and date’ would not be inscribed on the shell casings, thereby, making it impossible to track the procurer or the vendor.   

If Gauri Lankesh’s killer wanted to procure the bullets — be it for a country-made weapon or a branded gun —the legitimate route would have been the handful of gun dealers in Bengaluru city either from City Market, Majestic or Upparpet, which sell firearms and bullets to licenced gun owners. The alternative route is accessing the grey market for the 7.65mm bullets — sold by gun owners themselves — which is used in most hired killings and other heinous crimes because of the growing criminal nexus between individual firearms licensees and criminals.

The common link so far in the four sensational high profile murder cases; of Pune-based rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Kolhapur resident CPI leader Govind Pansare, Dharwad resident and rationalist M.M. Kalburgi and Bengaluru-based journalist, editor and activist Gauri Lankesh is that the accused in all three killings used 7.65mm bullets to finish ‘targets.’

“As of now the similarity in the four cases is limited to the use of 7.65mm bullets, but there is no evidence that the killers had used the same country weapon in all the four murders because the weapons have not been found ” an officer requesting anonymity said.

Tags: gauri lankesh murder, narendra dabholkar
Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru