Gauri Lankesh, M M Kalburgi killed by the same gun: Forensics

Bengaluru: A 7.65-mm country-made pistol was used in the September 5 killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh and that of research scholar M M Kalburgi two years ago, the preliminary findings of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory have revealed.

“Given our wherewithal, we could establish an 80% similarity in the weapon used in the two crimes,” a source with access to the preliminary reports told The Times of India.

In August 2015, Kalburgi was shot dead at his home in the north Karnataka town of Dharwad. The forensics reports proved that the weapon used to kill him was the also the same that was used to shoot communist leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra a few months earlier.

Lankesh was shot dead at the gate of her residence in Bengaluru by an unidentified assailant with a 7.65-mm country-made pistol at around 8 pm on September 5. While Kalburgi was killed at his home in Dharwad Town at around 8.40 am on August 30, 2015 by an unidentified gunman who first rang his doorbell.

Police recovered four bullets from Lankesh’s crime scene, one missed while three pierced her heart and lungs before exiting her body. Four empty cartridges where found at the crime scene with the help of metal detectors.

According to Indian Express, investigators compared the “ballistic signature” on the bullets and cartridges in the Lankesh case with that of bullets and cartridges in the Kalburgi case.

The analysis reported a match suggesting that one common gun was used in the two killings, sources told Indian Express.

“This also suggests that one common outfit or group is behind the two killings,” an official told Indian Express.

The preliminary reports will now be handed over to the investigating agency SIT who is probing the case on Wednesday.

Almost 80 people have been questioned by the team from different parts of the city and other districts.

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