Bengaluru, July 3: The Special Investigation Team which is probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh have made several startling revelations. It was a well-oiled network that plotted and executed the murder, the probe agency says.
The police say that the shooter, Parushuram Waghmare was taken to the spot of the crime blind-folded. His blind-fold was removed only when he reached the spot, following which he was instructed to execute the killing. Soon after the murder a person comes to the spot collects the weapon from him and leaves.
While the probe agency have managed to get a fairly clear picture as to how the murder was carried out, the weapon continues to remain missing.
On a need to know basis:
Police sources say that the entire operation was carried out by a bunch of people who only operated on a need to know basis. It begins with the recruitment drive, where a few persons go to various functions or seminars and identify persons who they feel are fire-brand.
They are then picked up and trained to use the pistol and also make petrol bombs. The police say that it is impossible to designate this operation to any one outfit. These persons are picked up various outfits and are asked to carry out a specific task. The probing of the individual does not lead up to the top leadership of any outfit, the source also added.
At first they are given smaller tasks like protests or disrupting events. A close watch is then kept on their movements and in the long run if they are found to be trustworthy, then they are given the big assignment.
Take the case of Waghmare who travelled nearly 100 kilometres before he could reach Bengaluru. He was instructed to change his clothes at regular intervals during the journey so that he is not identified. Further the police also revealed that he was not allowed to directly meet the top brass who had planned this operation.
Waghmare was reporting to one Amol Kale. It was he who blindfolded Waghmare before taking him near Gauri's home. His blindfold was removed at a park near the house. The police say that this was done so that he could re-collect only the park if he was caught by the police. Waghmare is unable to state clearly who exactly took him to Gauri's house and from where.
Once the murder was committed, Kale returns to the spot, blindfolds him and then drops him off nearly Nelamangala. Waghmare then changed his outfit and fled to Maharashtra where he remained underground.
The police say that there are many such persons who are part of this network. Their organisation has no name and there are several modules which operate on an assignment specific basis. The shooter once identified is only allowed to be in contact with one or two persons. He would have no further details of the modus operandi. Even while being interrogated, the shooter would confess to the killing. However he would have no further details even about the weapon that was used in the shooting.
The police say that these persons take extra precaution in concealing the weapon as they are aware that it is very crucial evidence in a murder case. The case, in the absence of a weapon starts of on a very weak note, the police also say.