Gauri Lankesh murder case:SIT files additional 9,235 Pages,Chargesheet in special court against 18 accused.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), investigating the murder of firebrand journalist Gauri Lankesh has submitted additional charge sheet of 9235 pages against 18 accused person to Special court for KCOCA,(Karnataka Control of Crimes Act) here on Friday.
The additional charge sheet was carried out by Four policemen in a metal trunk box containing 9,235 pages of chargesheet to court on Friday evening and submitted before principal city civil and sessions court Judge Shivashankar B Amarannavar.The Principal city civil and sessions court is designated court to hear cases under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA).
This is the additional chargesheet filed nearly 180 days after SIT had filed the first chargesheet in the case this May.
The 9,235-page document reportedly mentions the involvement of Hindu extremist group Sanathana Sanstha and names 18 people.
Earlier the police had filed a 650-page chargesheet in the case, eight months after the cold-blooded murder of the journalist-activist.
We submitted an additional charge sheet against 18 accused persons to the Special Court.It is 9,235 pages.We have also sought permission to investigate further, investigation officer at SIT told media persons.
Firebrand editor of the Gauri Lankesh Patrike,Gauri was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwarinagar on the night of September 5, 2017.
It was only in February that the police made the first arrest in the case after it nabbed KT Naveen Kumar,who was allegedly given the task of procuring a gun and bullets for the crime.He was held, the police said, just as the group was allegedly plotting the murder of rationalist KS Bhagwan.
Subsequently, the SIT hit upon the plot and with this breakthrough,was able to arrest Sujith Kumar alias Praveen,who then led it to the alleged masterminds Amol Kale and Amit Degwekar,both from Maharashtra, a police officer said.Also apprehended was Manohar Edave,a resident of Vijayapura,who allegedly played a key role in recruiting the killers.
In June, the SIT arrested Parashuram Waghmare, who it believes, shot Lankesh.The others key accused arrested are Amit Baddi and Ganesh Miskin, who are suspected to have ferried Waghmare to her home on a two-wheeler, and Rakesh Bangera, who allegedly trained the shooter.
While the police matched the bullets recovered from the crime scene with those recovered from the house of rationalist MM Kalburgi,who was also shot dead at his home in Karnataka’s Dharwad in August 2015,it is still not in possession of the gun used to commit the crimes,according to a senior official of the SIT,Speaking on the condition of anonymity.
However, we are now in possession of the two-wheeler used in the commission of the crime,” the officer said.Around 80% of the investigation is complete at this stage.
Amol Kale, one of the first persons arrested by the SIT, has been named as the main accused in the case.The SIT said its investigation had found that Kale was the kingpin who meticulously planned the conspiracy, took care of logistics, provided gun training, organised finance and shelter, and finally ensured that the final assault took place.
The SIT,however, is still hunting for a man named Nihal alias Dada who it believes will tie up the link between the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Lankesh.
After the Karnataka SIT cracked the Lankesh case, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the CBI were able to find crucial links to the unsolved murder of Pansare.
The special teams of both states collaborated and shared evidence and found that one Sudhanva Gondhalekar was allegedly involved in plotting terror attacks in Maharashtra and was also spotted in CCTV footage near Lankesh’s house.
The Maharashtra ATS conducted multiple raids and arrested Vaibhav Raut, a Sanatan Sanstha sympathiser, and two others. These arrests also provided much-needed intel and leads to the Karnataka SIT.
The SIT in October had secured the custody of Vasudev Suryavamshi, first arrested by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in connection with the Nalasopara explosive case.He is suspected to be the one who supplied the motorbike on which the alleged killers of Gauri used for the murder to reach the crime scene. He was also incidentally suspected to be involved in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
The SIT has mentioned that during the course of its investigation,it did not find any personal or direct link between Lankesh and the killers, confirming the suspicion that she was killed as part of the bigger conspiracy to silence rationalists in the country, special public prosecutor Balan told media persons.
The chargesheet also explained that the larger conspiracy was to strategically eliminate 43 other liberals and rationalists, some of whom survived attempts to kill.
Of the 18 people in the SIT’s custody, the major success has been the arrest of Parshuram Waghmore, who the police believe is the one who shot Lankesh at point-blank range.The other accused who played an important role were Rajesh Bangera,Amit Baddi,Ganesh Miskin,Manohar Edave,Sujeet Kumar, Amit Degwekar,K.T. Naveen Kumar and Mohan Naik.All the 17 accused were arrested in the case and remanded in judicial custody.
The trail of the case may likely start in January 2019 based on two charge sheets.