Recruits were members of Hindutva outfits, trained to handle guns and bombs
In a breakthrough in the murder investigation of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, the SIT probing the case suspects that four top-level leaders of a pro-Hindutva outfit were the ones who conceived the plot to kill her and other rationalists, the news minute reported.
According to the report, it has been revealed that the six accused in the case were the executors of the murder plot and investigators have launched a hunt for four more persons connected to the murder.
“There is a suspicion that a retired Army Colonel, who became a member of a pro-Hindutva outfit is one of the four men who hatched the plot,” the SIT source added.
Six men affiliated to the Sanatan Sanstha and the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti were arrested in connection with the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Amol Kale (37) from Pune, Sujeet Kumar (38) from Shikaripura, Amit Degwekar (38) from Goa and Manohar Edave (29) from Vijayapura were allegedly involved in recruiting around 60 people in Karnataka for covert activities, the SIT has found.
Amit Degwekar, was arrested in May this year. Karnataka Police had found in his possession several envelopes with varying amounts of cash. The money came to over Rs 1.5 lakh.
The cash found in the envelopes had been withdrawn from a Sanatan Sanstha bank account and were meant to be given to field workers associated with a covert activities unit of the ultra-right wing Hindutva group, allegedly involved in assassinations and subversion in Karnataka and Maharashtra, the SIT has surmised following investigations after the arrest of Degwekar and four others for direct involvement in Lankesh’s murder.
The investigators also found that the recruits were members of pro-Hindutva outfits and were handpicked by Amol Kale and his handlers, and trained to handle guns and petrol bombs.