Nine months after journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in Bengaluru allegedly by Hindutva fringe activists, the police in its chargesheet has claimed that same weapon was used to silence Lankesh and Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi. The forensic report reveals that both were shot dead with the same 7.65 mm country-made gun.
According to Indian Express, the forensic report was part of the chargesheet which was submitted by Karnataka Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) before the court on May 30. Importantly, it is the first investigative agency document which establishes linkages between the two murders that happened in the gap of two years. As per the newspaper, its sources said the finding suggests that a common group of assassins shot both – Kalburgi on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad and Lankesh on September 5, 2017, in Bengaluru.
The police had filed an FIR against five in Lankesh’s murder case. The forensic report is part of the chargesheet filed against one of the five accused – KT Naveen Kumar. It states that the bullets and cartridges in both the murders “have been fired through a single country made pistol chambered for 7.65 mm caliber pistol cartridges”.
The police had recovered three bullets from Lankesh’s body and one which missed her along with four cartridges. It was later compared to the two bullets and cartridges found from Kalburgi’s body.