SIT says Gauri Lankesh’s murder was an organised crime

Journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder was an organised crime carried out by people linked to the Hindu extremist group, Sanatan Sanstha, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) stated in a 9,235-page additional charge-sheet. The charge sheet has named 18 people.

The SIT, probing the murder case, today filed an additional charge-sheet at the Special Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA) court.“We have also sought permission to investigate further,” investigation officer MN Anucheth said. The charge sheet stated that a network within Sanatan Sanstha targeted Lankesh for no personal reasons. It also said the planning to kill Lankesh took place for almost five years.

“It is an act of organised crime. The Sanatan Sanstha has been named in the charge-sheet as the group that carried out the killing with the help of members of other fringe groups. The murder was planned by a group involved in such killings for five years,’’ special public prosecutor S Balan said after the charge-sheet was presented to the court of the principal sessions judge in Bengaluru.

Gauri Lankesh, an editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was murdered outside her house in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar on September 5, last year. In May 2018, the SIT had filed the first charge sheet and had alleged the role of KT Naveen Kumar, a resident of Kadaluru (Mandya) in the killing.

Amol Kale alias Bhaisaab, a mechanical engineer from Pune, has been named as the prime accused, while the suspected shooter Parashuram Waghmare is accused number two. Ganesh Miskin, who allegedly rode the bike on which the shooter reached Lankesh’s home, and Amit Baddi, who allegedly drove a getaway car, are the third and the fourth accused, respectively.

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