A DIARY recovered from Pune resident Amol Kale, an alleged associate of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), who was arrested by the Karnataka SIT in connection with the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, has a list of coded entries on potential targets, said investigators probing the case. The HJS is an offshoot of the Hindutva outfit Sanatan Sanstha.
Among those listed is ‘Mumbai SP’, a reference to the SP with the CBI, Nandkumar Nair — the investigative officer in Pune-based rationalist Narendra Dabholkar’s murder case. The other targets that are yet to be deciphered include four from Thane and one from Uttar Pradesh, sources privy to the development told The Indian Express.
This is not the first time that Nair has figured in the hit list of Sanatan Sanstha, which has described him as “rakshasa”. In June 2016, Nair’s team had arrested Dr Virendra Tawde, an alleged western commander of HJS, for being the conspirator in the Dabholkar murder case. Last week, the team had arrested Sachin Andure, a Aurangabad resident, who was allegedly one of the shooters in the case. Sharad Kalaskar, who was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS for planning to carry out attacks in five cities of Maharashtra, has been identified as the other alleged shooter.
“While his name being mentioned in the diary is a matter of concern, many Sanatan Sanstha members always called him anti-Hindu and had accused him of not following his faith by arresting their members… Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise if his name is on their hit list,” an official said.
“In the past, when a lawyer was questioned by the CBI in connection with the case, a Sanatan functionary had informed Nair that they were aware of his recent trip to the Guruvayur Sri Vishnu temple in Kerala. This clearly indicates that the group is monitoring his movements,” the official added. Nair has been provided protection by the police.
Meanwhile, Kale has emerged as the second plotter along with Tawde in the case, said officials. “It was Tawde and Kale who decided to eliminate Dabholkar for his views and started scouting for shooters. Andure and Kalaskar who attended various protests and functions organised by HJS met the two during these functions. Kale and Tawde imparted them firing training. We suspect Kake also arranged for weapons used in the killing of Dabholkar,” said the official. The agency is likely to seek his custody soon.
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