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Dabholkar, Gauri killings linked: CBI

The murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru last year and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in 2013 were linked, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said in court here on Sunday.

Seeking extension of the custody of Sachin Andure, one of the alleged shooters in the Dabholkar case, the CBI told the court that one of the accused in the Gauri killing had handed over a pistol and three bullets with a magazine to Mr. Andure. The CBI said it is investigating if the pistol had been used to kill Dabholkar.

Judicial Magistrate First Class H.R. Jadhav extended Mr. Andure’s CBI custody till August 30.

Two murders

Dabholkar was shot dead while he was on a morning walk in August 2013. Gauri was shot dead in front of her residence in September 2017.

The CBI also told the court that the agency would seek the custody of Sharad Kalaskar, another alleged shooter in the Dabholkar case. Mr. Kalaskar is among the five people arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the seizure of crude bombs and firearms.

“Kalaskar is currently in the custody of the ATS in the Nalasopara explosives seizure case. The CBI will seek his custody in the Dabholkar case also, as he and Andure need to be interrogated together,” Special Public prosecutor Vijaykumar Dhakane said.

He said the CBI would also seek the custody of those arrested by the Karnataka SIT in the Gauri case, as some of them were linked to the Dabholkar case and connected to Mr. Andure.

A CBI officer later said the agency was awaiting the ballistic report of the pistol, and that it would be premature to say if it was used in the Dabholkar murder. Defence counsel Prakash Salsingikar opposed the extension of Mr. Andure’s custody.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 7:25:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dabholkar-gauri-killings-linked-cbi/article24787678.ece

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