Bengaluru: Parashuram Waghmore, a suspect in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, has reportedly confessed to killing the Bengaluru-based senior journalist in September last year.
According to a report in The Times of India, the 26-year-old is said to have told a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that he did not know who he was killing when he pulled the trigger on Lankesh in front of her house in Rajarajeshwarinagar on September 5, 2017. He, however, reportedly claimed that he committed the murder to “save” his religion.
The report also quoted a source in the SIT as saying that Waghmore said that he "should not have killed the woman".
Reacting to the development in the nine-month-old investigation, Gauri Lankesh’s sister Kavita Lankesh told CNN-News18, “People are openly being threatened and harassed. We always knew why she was killed. Enough evidence is available…. How did Waghmore save his religion by killing my sister?”
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara declined to confirm the reports. "A lot has been reported in the Gauri Lankesh case, but I can't reveal anything at this time,” he said, adding that his comments may affect the investigation. Parameshwara holds charge of the state’s home ministry to which Karnataka police report.
Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa expressed shock at the development. “Waghmore says that he did it to save Hinduism. Hindus killing Hindus and then claiming that they are saving their religion… what kind of justification is that? Such things can only be said by people who are mentally disturbed. This is absolutely shocking.”
Waghmore, from Sindagi town in Vijayapura district, reportedly told his interrogators that he was brought to Bengaluru on September 3, 2017. He had been trained in using air gun in Belagavi district, he said.
The SIT has so far arrested six people in the case — Parashuram Waghmare, K T Naveen alias Hotte Manja, Amol Kale, Manohar Edve, Sujeeth Kumar alias Praveen and Amit Degvekar. While Naveen Kumar is from Maddur in Mandya district of Karnataka, Amol Kale and Amit Degvekar are from Maharashtra.
On March 2, 37-year-old KT Naveen Kumar was taken into custody after nearly 15 illegally possessed bullets were recovered from him by police.
Lankesh, 55, the Editor of "Lankesh Patrike", was shot dead outside her residence in the city's suburb by unidentified assailants on September 5 last year. According to the police, of the total seven bullets fired by the unidentified men, three had hit Lankesh -- two in the chest and one in the forehead.