The Maharashtra Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare today said that so far it had no plans to seek custody of Parashuram Waghmare, the prime accused in journalist Gauri Lankesh’s killing.
“At present we do not have any plan like that, but we could take him into custody during the course of our investigation,” a senior SIT official told PTI.
The Karnataka SIT recently arrested six people, including Waghmare (26), an active member of right-wing group Sri Ram Sene, in connection with Lankesh’s murder.
“As of now we have not asked for the custody of Waghmare and other suspects,” the Maharashtra SIT official added.
A forensic report had earlier confirmed that the same weapon was used to kill Lankesh, Pansare and Kannada writer and rationalist M M Kalburgi.
The weapon, however, is yet to be traced.
Pansare was leading a campaign against road toll tax and was shot at by motorcycle-borne assailants on February 16, 2015 in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur city.
He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Mumbai on February 20.
The Maharashtra SIT has not been able to make any major breakthrough in the probe in Pansare’s killing.
The arrest of Waghmare and others by the Karnataka SIT came as the first major lead for the Maharashtra police.
However, the Karnataka SIT has ruled out Waghmare’s involvement in the murders of Pansare and Kalburgi.
It said the gang was also planning to kill Kannada writer K S Bhagawan, who has often angered the right-wing outfits with his writings and utterances against Hindu gods.
According to the Karnataka SIT, the gang has a wide network spread across at least five states and comprises 60 people drawn from right-wing groups.