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  India   All India  27 Sep 2017  Man who pulled trigger on Gauri Lankesh not the plotter

Man who pulled trigger on Gauri Lankesh not the plotter

THE ASIAN AGE. | BALA CHAUHAN
Published : Sep 27, 2017, 2:19 am IST
Updated : Sep 27, 2017, 2:19 am IST

Murderer was surprised that scribe took a new route back home that day.

Gauri Lankesh
 Gauri Lankesh

Bengaluru: If the man behind journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder had not been on the lookout and had not seen her taking a different route home, the hired assassin would have missed her completely and Gauri Lankesh would probably have still been alive today.

Instead, Deccan Chronicle has learnt that the lookout, who was working in tandem with the bike-borne shooter, spotted Lankesh heading home early and to his shock, taking a completely new route back. It meant, she would have arrived earlier than they had envisaged, giving her enough time to get in the house, and to safety.

SIT investigators probing the case have also told Deccan Chronicle that the man who actually pulled the trigger and killed journalist-cum-activist Gauri Lankesh, was not the man who plotted her murder.

Even as the now 100-member-strong Special Investigation Team (SIT) is spreading its vast web of human, technology and monetary resources to identify Lankesh’s killers, two things have reportedly become clear; that it was an assassin for hire and secondly, there was more than one person working on the plan to kill Lankesh outside her house on September 5.

“An assassin was hired to do the job. On September 5, the assassin was in touch with someone on the phone, who was tracking Ms Gauri’s movements,” he said.

According to sources, Gauri’s assassin was allegedly alerted on the phone by someone regarding the route she had taken that fateful evening and the time that she was likely to reach house.

The Gauri murder case is being compared with the other three murder cases; of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, CPI leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra and Kann-ada litterateur M.M. Kalb-urgi in Dharwad because of several striking similarities such as, the commonality of targets (all of them were liberals), the use of bike-borne assailants and perpetrators had used 7.65mm bullets to finish their targets and  the location.

Dabholkar and Pansare were murdered, very close to their homes, when they were out on a morning walk. Kalburgi was shot at point blank range inside his house and Gauri, was similarly, killed just outside her home. The difference between the various killings is that while the first three murders took place in the morning, Gauri was killed at 8pm at night.

 “There is a fourth similarity. In the earlier three cases, the targets were static. In Gauri’s case, the target was on the move. In Gauri’s case they had conducted a recce of the house to make sure of the location of the target, “ the source said.

Squashing speculation that the number plate would lead to the killer, the source also said: “The number plate on the motorbike of the assassin may be fake, and may not throw up a strong lead.”

 On why the government had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for credible information leading to the arrest of the accused in Gauri murder case, another officer said: “Money plays a significant role in solving complex criminal cases. The investigating team has to spend a lot of money to follow leads, Very often leads go dry and the amount spent on the chase has to be written off. Credible Intelligence and information is bought at phenomenal price. The bigger the case and hotter the pursuit, bigger is the price for credible information.”

Tags: gauri lankesh, special investigation team, govind pansare