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Diary Hints at Possible Link Between Murders of Gauri Lankesh and Dabholkar

The families of Dabholkar and late Communist member Govind Pansare have been given security following inputs from Kale’s diary, which reportedly had the names of the family members on the hit list.

Chaitanya Mangure | CNN-News18

Updated:August 20, 2018, 3:40 PM IST
Diary Hints at Possible Link Between Murders of Gauri Lankesh and Dabholkar
File photos of Gauri Lankesh and Narendra Dabholkar.

The CBI team investigating the murder case of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar has claimed that it has arrested the alleged shooter who fired bullets at Dabholkar on August 20, 2013. The CBI team has been able to nab the alleged shooter Sachin Prakashrao Andure, just two days before the fifth death anniversary of Dabholkar.

Sachin Andure, a right wing Hindu activist, was a regular reader of Sanatan Prabhat, the mouthpiece of Sanatan Sanstha.

According to sources, Sachin Andure’s name surfaced during the interrogation of three suspects arrested by the Maharashtra ATS on August 10.

Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar were arrested from Nala Sopara, whereas the third suspect Sudhanva Gondhlikar was arrested from Pune on the same day.

Vaibhav Raut is a member of the 'Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti'. He has participated in several events organised by Hindu organisations, including Sanatan Sanstha.

Sharad Kalaskar, who hails from Satara district, is also a right wing Hindu activist actively involved in protecting cows. He was working along with Vaibhav Raut in Nala Sopara.

Sudhanva Gondhalekar is allegedly associated with 'Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan', an organisation headed by Sambhaji Bhide alias Bhide Guruji. Sudhanva has also shared dais with several members of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha.

ATS said that the arrests were made based on a secret information received on August 7, that certain people were conspiring terror activities in Pune, Satara, Solapur, Mumbai and Nala Sopara. Huge cache of explosives, including 20 country made bombs and material to make IEDs, was seized along with several firearms from raids carried out at Nala Sopara, Pune and Solapur.

ATS also arrested Shrikant Pangarkar, former Shiv Sena corporator from Jalna district on August 19. It is suspected that he financed the fire arms and explosives recovered from the three suspects.

If sources are to be believed, the secret information received by ATS was given by the Special Investigation Team from Karnataka probing the murder case of Journalist Gauri Lankesh. According to sources, the name of Vaibhav Raut and others surfaced during the interrogation of Amol Kale, who allegedly masterminded murder of Gauri Lankesh.

Amol Kale was arrested by Karnataka Police on May 21, on charges of attempt to murder. However, his custody was taken by the SIT of Bengaluru police as it was suspected that he was involved in the murder plot of Gauri Lankesh. A diary was also seized from Kale which has several names of targets, including that of Gauri Lankesh.

The families of Dabholkar and late Communist member Govind Pansare have been given security following inputs from Kale’s diary, which reportedly had the names of the family members on the hit list.

Sources claim that the diary is written in code language and also talks about 50 potential shooters from Karnataka and Maharashtra who were to be recruited to carry out the operations. Several of these were being trained in using guns, pistols and air guns in Belgavi, Hubballi and Pune.

When Amol was interrogated by the SIT about the names in the diary, he revealed information about Vaibhav Raut and others. The information was passed to Maharashtra ATS.

Based on this information, the Call Data Records of Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar were tracked by the ATS, which revealed information regarding a terror conspiracy.

Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar were detained by the ATS and after several hours of questioning, the residence and shop of Vaibhav Raut, located in Nala Sopara, were raided and both were arrested. Another suspect named Sudhanva Gondhlikar was also arrested from Pune as he was found to be constantly in touch with the Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar.

Apart from firearms and explosives, in the raids conducted at Nala Sopara, Pune and Solapur, ATS also seized vehicle number plates, motor bikes and parts of pistols along with other articles, including several documents handwritten in code language.

ATS suspects that these articles were used in the murders carried out in Maharashtra and Karnataka, including that of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.

During interrogation of the Sharad Kalaskar regarding these murders, ATS claims he revealed that he played a major role in the murder of Dr Narendra Dabholkar. He also gave information about Sachin Andure’s role in the murder. Based on this input, Sachin was detained by the ATS from Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on August 14. After questioning him for several hours, it was found that he was involved in the killing of Dabholkar. The information was shared with the CBI team investigating the case after which he was arrested by the CBI.

It has been found that Sachin, who was staying in Aurangabad from was one of the shooters, who fired at Dabholkar. He has also been trained to use firearms in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

CBI stated that the conspiracy to kill Dabholkar was hatched by Virendrasinh Tawde along with Sachin and others. Virendrasinh Tawde, a member of Sanatan, was arrested in 2016 for his involvement in the murder of Dabholkar, he is also an accused in the murder of Govind Pansare.

Sachin Andure’s arrest is considered as an important development in the Dabholkar Murder case. Speaking to News18 Hamid Dabholkar, son of late Narendra Dabholkar, said “CBI should reach the masterminds of this conspiracy. I hope that the killers of Pansare, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh will also be arrested soon”.

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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