Karnataka

Kale, Miskin and Chatur conspired for months ahead of Kalburgi hit

The Special Investigation Team probing the case said Kale instructed Miskin to conduct a recce of Kalburgi’s house and chose him to carry out the assassination.

Amol Kale, who has been named prime accused in the murder of scholar M.M. Kalburgi, met with alleged shooter Ganesh Miskin and Praveen Chatur, another accused, several times near Indira Gandhi Glasshouse in Hubballi between January and May 2015 to plan the assassination.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case, which filed a chargesheet on Saturday, said in a release that it was Kale who instructed Miskin to conduct a recce of Kalburgi’s house and chose him to carry out the assassination. He also instructed Chatur to ferry Miskin on a stolen motorcycle to Kalburgi’s residence on August 30, 2015.

That month, Kale took Miskin and Chatur to a rubber plantation in Pilathabettu village of Dakshina Kannada district, where he allegedly trained them to handle country-made pistols. In the second week of August that year, the final preparations for the assassination were made, said the SIT, which filed the chargesheet at a special court in Dharwad.

On August 30, 2015, Kale, Miskin and Chatur met at Indira Gandhi Glasshouse at 7 a.m. and Kale handed over a bag containing a 7.65 mm country-made pistol to Miskin. Miskin, along with Chatur, used a stolen bike and reached Kalburgi’s house at around 8.30 a.m. “Ganesh Miskin then went to the house and shot Dr. M.M. Kalburgi twice in his forehead,” said the SIT in a release to the media.

The case was originally investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for nearly four years before being handed over to the SIT. Building on the evidence collected by the CID, the SIT indicted Kale and six of his associates for conspiring and shooting Kalburgi at point blank.

Miskin, an incense stick maker from Hubballi, was allegedly the hitman and happens to be a key accused in the murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh as well. According to the SIT investigation, Chatur waited on the bike while Miskin, posing as Kalburgi’s student, shot the scholar.

The six accused, who were members of an unnamed organisation that targeted rationalists and scholars, decided to murder Kalburgi after he referenced a passage from a book that made observations.

Recruitment

“While recruiting members to the organisation, emphasis was given to those persons with a history of aggression and violence and those who had a criminal background. The recruitment drive was very meticulous,” said a senior police officer, adding that Kale identified potential recruits based on intelligence inputs gathered from his own sources and on observing them at events held by right-wing organisations.

The members conspired and trained at various places in both Karnataka and Maharashtra and were careful about how they communicated.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:14:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kale-miskin-and-chatur-conspired-for-months-ahead-of-kalburgi-hit/article29121988.ece

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