In a confession recorded in the presence of special investigation team (SIT) probing Gauri Lankesh murder case, accused Parashuram Waghmare agreed that he was the one who fired at Gauri Lankesh. He said that he had given his gun to someone after this incident, but does not remember to whom.
Waghmare said that he was unable to bear Gauri’s habit of using bad language against Hindutva and Hindu gods. “Angered by this, I killed her by firing bullet. But that gun is not in my possession now. I had given it to someone. But I have forgotten the identity of the person to whom it was given,” he stated.
With this, the special investigation team seems to have made critical headway in the case. Now the team hopes to continue its systematic investigation and find out who were the persons behind this dastardly act.
It is gathered that the accused, during early stages of interrogation, remained non-cooperative and engaged in arguments often. However, when the officials of the team continued with sustained questioning, and also placed documents as proof of their finding, the accused confessed to his crime in the evening. The special investigating team said that investigation has not yet been completed and they are yet to find out who was the motorbike rider involved with the crime that day and those who worked behind the scenes. Sources said that although preliminary information suggests that pro-Hindu organization was behind this gunning down, there is lack of enough evidence.
The team needs to procure the firearm used for the murder and the motorbike used for the travel to strengthen its case. However, both are yet to be found. The accused has made the issues complicated by claiming that the gun was given to someone else after using it for murder. The motorbike also could not be identified. The rider of the motorbike who had brought Parashuram that day also has not been identified.
It is learned that during his questioning, Waghmare said that the hit list contained names of rationalists and critics like Girish Karnad, K S Bhagwan and other rationalists and thinkers in addition to Gauri Lankesh. Although Karnad was to be eliminated before Gauri as per the preliminary plan, that plan was shelved for some reasons, he told the investigating officers.
The team said that they found out during the investigation that names of C S Dwarakanath, the former minister, B T Lalita Nayak, Veerabhadra Chennamalla Swamiji of Nidumamidi Math and K S Bhagwan were in the list of persons targeted to be killed.
As soon as the killer of Gauri Lankesh was arrested, the state government provided security by way of the gunman to Prof Maheshchandra Guru of the department of journalism in Mysore University. Likewise, rationalist, Prof K S Bhagwan, had been given security last year.