Amol Kale, Dada may have masterminded Gauri killing

1 year ago TNN 0

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has a strong suspicion that Amol Kale, arrested from the Goa-Karnataka border, and fugitive accused Nihal, alias Dada, could be the masterminds behind the assassination.

A native of Pune and a realtor, Amol Kale, 37, is in SIT custody, while Nihal, believed to be a resident of Maharashtra, is missing. Nihal’s name was mentioned in the remand application submitted by SIT to court, seeking custody of the accused.

“Another accused, Manohar Yadave, who is in police custody, confessed that he regularly updated Kale and Dada on Gauri Lankesh’s movements. Accompanied by KT Naveen Kumar at times, Yadave had followed Gauri from her RR Nagar residence to office and other places,” SIT sources said, adding, “This indicates that Kale and Dada were the masterminds. However, we need some more material and circumstantial evidence to prove it.”

Meanwhile, the chargesheet submitted by SIT reveals the statement of Naveen Kumar’s wife Roopa, saying her husband had bought a pistol and would offer his blood to it during Ayudha Puja festival.

“He respected all castes and creeds, but strictly stuck to Hinduism. On September 5, we travelled to Mangaluru in a KSRTC bus. On reaching the bus stand, a cab driver picked us up and dropped us at an ashram. Next morning, TV channels were beaming news of Gauri’s killing. I told my husband about it, and he did not react,” her statement in the chargesheet read.

Shabbir, a staffer working at a gun store in City Market, says that Naveen Kumar had purchased around 18 bullets from him eight years ago. “Naveen came to my shop and purchased two air guns. After some days, he returned, asking for a country made pistol. I had to refuse because he had no licence. After some days, he returned again and requested me for some live bullets. After much pleading, I agreed and sold him around 18 bullets for Rs 3,000,” the statement by Shabbir reads.

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