BENGALURU: In a startling revelation, the state forensic science laboratory has confirmed in the reports that journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi were killed with the same gun.
The bullets in both murder cases “have been fired through a single country made pistol chambered for 7.65 mm caliber pistol cartridges,” said The Indian Express.
“The bullets in article no 6, 18 and 19 [the Lankesh case] and the bullets in article no 2 and 3 concerned in Vidyagiri P S Cr No 142/15 vide FAS/150/15 [the Kalburgi case] have been fired through a single country made pistol chambered for 7.65 mm caliber pistol cartridges,” the police report states, according to the newspaper report.
It also contains the details that the scratches formed by the firing pin on the bullets in the two murder cases are similar.
77-year-old Kannada scholar Kalburgi, a progressive thinker openly critical of superstitions in Hinduism was killed on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad and 55-year-old Lankesh, known for her strong anti-Hindutva stand, was shot dead in front of her house in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, triggering a nationwide outrage.
The Karnataka SIT formed to investigate the murder of Lankesh recently submitted the charge-sheet against the main accused KT Naveen Kumar alias Hottey Manja of Maddur under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and Sections 3 and 25 of the Arms Act.
The chargesheet filed has a voluntary confessional statement of the accused that allegedly mentioned Lankesh was killed for her “anti-Hindu views”, The Hindu reported adding the that next was rationalist and well known writer K S Bhagawan, also a strong critic of Hindutva.
Four other accused besides Kumar, affiliated to Hindtuva groups – Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has been arrested.