Sharad Kalaskar, who was first arrested by the Maharashtra ATS and later by the CBI and suspected to be one of the gunmen involved in the murder of Narendra Dabholkar, has now emerged as a key suspect in both the M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh murder cases, reports the Hindu.
The story further adds, Special Investigation Team revealed that Kalaskar was based out of Belagavi for two years between 2015 and 2017 when Kalburgi and Gauri were assassinated. Investigators say that Bharath Kurne, an accused in the Gauri case, who is also from Belagavi, allegedly helped Kalaskar set up base in the city by renting out a house.
Kalaskar is known to have set up a lathe factory in Belagavi where he manufactured at least five country-made pistols for the gang, apart from a few spare parts, all of which were seized by the Maharashtra ATS in August. Sources said Amol Kale, a key member of the organisation that orchestrated the hits on the rationalists, wanted to use one of the pistols for the hit on Gauri.
Kalaskar allegedly test-fired them in Bharat Kurne’s farm only to find that none of them was in perfect working condition. This forced them to rely on the pistol that they had used in the previous murders.
A senior CID official said Belagavi was the likely base and getaway for the gang and hence the role of Kalaskar cannot be ruled out in the murder of M.M. Kalburgi.