Bengaluru: Bangera (30) (first name only) a teacher from Kodagu was on Tuesday arrested by the Special Investigation Team for his alleged “complicity” in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. He could reportedly be the man, who supplied the killer 7.65mm cartridges to the accused, Parashuram Waghmore, who allegedly pumped four bullets into the well known writer, said a top source on condition of anonymity.
According to sources, Bangera is a teacher from Kodagu. “A couple of years ago he had reportedly applied for a licence for pistol from the police and had bought five live 7.65 mm cartridges. He had reportedly supplied the same to the accused in the Gauri murder case. The cartridges were allegedly used to kill Gauri. Further investigation and custodial interrogation will throw more light on his involvement,” added the source.
The SIT had allegedly summoned Bangera for questioning. He was subsequently arrested and is the 10th accused in the sensational murder case. Bangera was produced before the Magistrate court in the City on Tuesday, a day after the SIT had produced the two accused - Ganesh Miskin (27) and Amit Baddi (28) from Hubbali in the Third ACMM court in the same case. He has been remanded in police custody till August 6. The accused, who have been arrested so far are from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa and are said to have pro-Hindutva leanings.
"The SIT has got practically everyone in the net barring the chief conspirator, who had targeted Gauri; placed her on the hit list and the link in the chain - the logistics person in the 'operations team,' who had connected one to the other after drawing up the blueprint of her murder," said a source, who didn't wish to be named. The SIT investigation has thrown some very interesting facts about the modus operandi of the assassins in the Gauri murder case. Most importantly is the revelation that barring alleged involvement of some of the accused in communal violence in their region, none of them have any previous criminal records.
"Almost all the accused are first time offenders. This may have been part of the operational strategy of the conspirators to recruit people, who have never been under the police radar. Anonymity makes it so much more difficult for the enforcement agencies to track first time law offenders. It's like finding a needle in the haystack. Most of them were also strangers to each other till recently," said the source.
The accused who have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement and complicity in the Gauri murder case are K.T Naveen Kumar alias Hotte Manja, Amol Kale, Manohar Edve, Sujeeth Kumar alias Praveen, Amit Degvekar, Parashuram Waghmore, Mohan Nayak, Ganesh Miskin, Amit Baddi and Bangera. Naveen Kumar is from Maddur in Mandya district, Edve, Sujeeth Kumar, Waghmore, Nayak, Miskin, Baddi and Bangera are from Karnataka while Kale and Degvekar are from Maharashtra and Goa.