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lankesh: Kale, fugitive Dada could be behind Lankesh murder: SIT | India News

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BENGALURU: The special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh expressed strong suspicion that Amol Kale and fugitive accused Nihal alias Dada could be the masterminds of the plot to assassinate the journalist.

A native of Pune, Amol Kale, 37, is in SIT custody, while Nihal, believed to be a resident of Maharashtra, is missing. Nihal’s name was mentioned in the remand application submitted by the SIT to court seeking custody of the accused.

“Another accused, Manohar Yadave, who is in police custody, confessed that he regularly updated Kale and Dada about Lankesh’s movements. Accompanied by KT Naveen Kumar at times, Yadave had followed Gauri from her RR Nagar residence to her office and other places,” SIT sources said, adding that “this indicates that Kale and Dada were the masterminds. However, we need some more material and circumstantial evidence to prove that.”

Meanwhile, the chargesheet submitted by the SIT includes the statement of Naveen Kumar’s wife, Roopa, saying her husband had bought a pistol and would offer his blood to it during Ayudha Puja festival.

“He respected all castes and creeds, but strictly stuck to Hinduism. On September 5, we travelled to Mangaluru in a government bus. On reaching the bus stand, a cab driver picked us up and dropped us at an ashram. Next morning, TV channels were beaming news of Gauri’s killing. I told my husband about it, and he did not react,” her statement in the chargesheet read.

Further Shabbir, a staffer working at a gun store at the City Market, said that Naveen had purchased around 18 bullets from him eight years ago.

Kale simple and quiet man, say neighbours

Amol Kale, arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, is a “simple and quiet man” who often spoke about Sanatan Dharma as a way of life, say residents of Akshay Plaza in Pune’s Manik Colony, where Kale occupied an apartment.

“We can’t believe that such a simple man with a simple lifestyle can be involved in a heinous crime,” said a neighbour of Kale’s, one of the three suspects arrested from Goa-Karnataka border on May 21. TOI on Saturday afternoon visited Kale’s residence. His wife, Jagruti, opened the door but refused to comment. According to neighbours, Kale stays with his wife, elderly mother and a five-year-old son in a small apartment on the first floor. His father passed away about six months ago.

Updated: June 3, 2018 — 2:19 am

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