New Delhi: The probe into the killing of Kannda journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru on September 5, has found striking similarities with the murder of research scholar M.M. Kalburgi.
According to Indian Express, a preliminary forensic analysis of bullets and empty cartridges found at the scene of Lankesh’s murder has revealed that the same 7.65-mm countrymade pistol was used to kill Kalburgi two years ago. According to an official, the finding suggests one common outfit or group is behind the two killings.
It was earlier reported that a weapon of the same kind had been used in the murders of Govind Pansare in February 2015 and Narendra Dabholkar in August 2013 as well.
The link between the killings had been further bolstered after a post-mortem examination on the morning of September 6 revealed three entry and three corresponding exit wounds on Lankesh’s body. According to police officials, “Bullets were fired on chest and heads, and the three assailants came on a bike,” which is “very similar” to the murders of Pansare, Dabholkar and Kalburgi.
The latest forensic findings have been communicated to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the murder of the journalist.
The Karnataka CID in 2015 – following the murder of Kalburgi and Pansare – had attempted to analyse ballistic evidence in the two cases and had found a match. A further comparison of the evidence found in the Pansare case with that from the Dabholkar case had found that the second gun used to shoot Pansare was the same gun that was used to kill Dabholkar, Indian Express reported.
While the murders of the three remain unsolved till date, a CBI investigation into the Pansare murder case had hinted at the involvement of Sanatan Sanstha, a radical right-wing Goa-based outfit. According to the Indian Express report, the Karnataka SIT is also pursuing investigations on other lines.