‘Sanatan Sanstha’ planned to kill Gauri Lankesh for five years: SIT chargesheet

Bengaluru: After the special investigation team (SIT), probing the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, named Hindu right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha in its additional chargesheet filed before a city court, Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara on Saturday said the state government would soon take a call on banning the organisations involved in the killing of Lankesh.

Speaking to reporters here, Parameshwara said, “No discussions have taken place regarding the organisations involved in the crime, but shortly we will take a decision on that.”

The SIT filed an additional 9,235-page chargesheet naming Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu outfit, and 18 accused in the crime in the Principal Civil and Sessions court in Bengaluru on Friday.  The chargesheet stated that a network within Sanatan Sanstha targeted Lankesh for no personal reasons. It also said the planning to kill Lankesh took place for almost five years.

“The killer and the killed have no personal or any other enmity. Why she was killed? Because she believed in certain ideology, she wrote and spoke on that. So, it must be an ideology and it must be an organisation,” Special Public Prosecutor S Balan told PTI.

The SIT has also sought permission to investigate the case further. The first chargesheet in the sensational case was filed in May last.

Lankesh, 55, known for her left-leaning and strong anti-Hindutva views was shot dead in front of her house here on September 5 last year, triggering a nationwide outrage.

Soon after the then Siddaramaiah-led government constituted the SIT to probe into the killing.

So far, 18 people have been accused in the crime, including shooter Parashuram Waghmare, masterminds Amol Kale, Sujith Kumar alias Praveen and Amit Degwekar, SIT sources told PTI.

The gang is suspected to be involved in the killing of three other rationalists M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.

(With PTI inputs)