PROBING THE source of a 7.65-mm countrymade pistol and ammunition used to kill journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, investigators claim to have unearthed a parallel murder plot involving hired gun men.
Refusing to divulge details, or the plot of the suspected “supari” (hired) killing, sources familiar with the investigation said some members of a gang were allegedly hired by a prominent person in the state to get a rival killed.
The details have emerged with the arrest of one of the alleged shooters, Anup Gowda, alias Tahir Hussain, 27, a Bengaluru resident with history of crime, including extortion at gunpoint and supply of arms for murder. He was arrested by Bengaluru police Monday after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) handed over their findings. A 7.65 mm countrymade pistol was reportedly seized from him.
The SIT stumbled upon the parallel murder plot while probing gun runners in northern Karnataka district of Vijayapura, bordering Maharashtra, from where the pistol and ammo used to kill Lankesh, 55, was believed to have been sourced. Lankesh was shot outside her home in Bengaluru on September 5.
An FIR registered at Parappana Agrahara police station says that Anup Gowda and an associate were caught from a city hotel. Sources said three 7.65 mm countrymade pistols were recovered, which they allegedly planned to sell, and that the two were planning to kidnap a city financier.
Gowda has several cases registered against him in Karnataka, including an attempt to facilitate Dinesh Shetty, from the Ravi Poojary underworld gang, escape from Belgaum prison in February this year.
Vijayapura police have over the last month arrested 12 people involved in the illegal gun market and have seized 20 country made weapons and 49 rounds of ammunition in a fallout to the SIT’s efforts to find the suppliers in Lankesh murder.