Five Linked to Right-Wing Sanatan Sanstha Among Key Suspects in Gauri Lankesh's Murder

Four of them even have Interpol red-corner notices against their names for their alleged involvement in the 2009 Margao bomb blast.

New Delhi: Among the key suspects in the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh outside her home in Bengaluru on September 5, five have been found to be linked to the right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha.

According to an Indian Express report, four of them even have Interpol red-corner notices against their names for their alleged involvement in the 2009 Margao bomb blast.

The five – Praveen Limkar, 34, from Kolhapur; Jayaprakash alias Anna, 45, from Mangalore; Sarang Akolkar, 38, from Pune; Rudra Patil, 37, from Sangli and Vinay Pawar, 32, from Satara – are among the key suspects who a special investigation team of the Karnataka police is investigating as part of the probe into Lankesh’s murder.

Patil, Akolkar and Pawar had emerged as suspects also during the CBI investigation into the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in August 2013, in the probe into the killing of leftist thinker and rationalist Govind Pansare in February 2015 and also in the investigation into the murder of Kannada scholar M.M. Kalburgi in August 2015, Indian Express reported.

Akolkar and Patil along with Limkar and Anna are also suspected to be key players in the October 2009 Margao bomb blast when two members of Sanatan Sanstha were killed while transporting an IED that was to be planted at a Diwali programme in the area.

The Wire had earlier reported on the striking similarities between the murders of Lankesh and Kalburgi, who was killed in Karnataka on August 20, 2015.

Kalburgi was killed at 8:40 am when two men arrived at his house on a motorcycle, knocked on his door and shot him when he opened it. This is very similar to what happened to Lankesh, though her murder was at night.

A 7.65 mm countrymade pistol was used for both murders, as well as the murders of Dabholkar (killed in Kolhapur, Maharashtra) and Pansare (killed in Pune).