The Karnataka police’s Criminal Investigation Department has established two youths arrested for shooting of journalist Gauri Lankesh as first suspects in the August 30, 2015 shooting of Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi in Dharwad, Indian Express reported.
Ganesh Miskin and Amit Baddi, who reside near Dharwad have been moved for custody by the police and are currently languishing in jail. The CID has sought warrants after preliminary investigations.
An SIT probe into the killing revealed their connection to the Kalburgi case. Miskin was the rider of a motorcycle used by the shooter to kill the journalist.
Baddi was arrested for allegedly helping the killers get away in a car after killing Lankesh. Both of them have a criminal record for alleged involvement in communal violence in Hubbali.
The probe also revealed that Amol Kale, a former convenor of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti had taken Miskin in for spying the Kannada scholar before the murder.
Both Miskin and Baddi were trained in the use of guns by the covert group and its chief arms trainer Rajesh Bangera, 50, who has also been arrested, the SIT investigations stated.
Furthermore, the SIT has accused two more people for involvement in a right wing Hindutva terrorism plot in Maharashtra of involvement in the Lankesh murder case. The two people were arrested by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad last month.
The SIT has named Sharad Kalaskar, 25, a lathe machine operator and an alleged shooter in the August 20, 2013 murder of Maharashtra rationalist Narendra Dabholkar as accused number 15 in the Lankesh murder and Shrikant Pangarkar, 42, a former Shiv Sena corporator from Maharashtra and a founding member of the covert Hindutva group as accused number 16.
Warrants have been sought from the principal sessions judge in Bengaluru for custody of Kalaskar and Pangarkar. Express reported that the probe has found that Pangarkar participated in meetings held by members of the group to carry out the Lankesh murder.
A senior investigative journalist, Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her residence in Bangalore last year. Dabolkar was an anti-superstition activist and was based in Pune. He was shot dead during his morning walk in August 2013.