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‘Former Shiv Sena corporator went to Bengaluru before Lankesh’s murder’

Shrikant Pangarkar’s visit to Bengaluru before the murder was established after the Maharashtra ATS found that he had withdrawn money from an ATM in Bengaluru on August 14, 2017

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2018 01:25 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena,Shiv Sena corporator,Gauri Lankesh murder
ATS officials are investigating if Pangarkar was part of the reconnaissance plan to kill Gauri Lankesh.(HT FILE)

Shrikant Pangarkar – former Shiv Sena corporator from Aurangabad – had visited Bengaluru about 21 days before journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered. Pangarkar was also in regular touch with Amol Kale, the man arrested for the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, said sources in the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.

Pangarkar’s visit to Bengaluru before the murder was established after the Maharashtra ATS found that he had withdrawn money from an ATM in Bengaluru on August 14, 2017. The money was given to Amol Kale, who too was present in Bengaluru on the same day.

ATS officials are investigating if Pangarkar was part of the reconnaissance plan to kill Gauri Lankesh. The role of Pangarkar’s in Gauri Lankesh’s murder is being suspected as his name was found in the diary of one of the arrested accused in Karnataka, added ATS sources.

Pangarkar was using two mobile numbers, added ATS sources. “One mobile number was registered on his name which he used for regular purposes. Pangarkar stayed in touch Kale and other accused using the second mobile number which was not registered on his name,” said an investigating officer.

ATS officials are also probing the former Shiv Sena corporator for a reconnaissance he conducted in Amravati to target an individual. A panchnama of the spot at Amravati was prepared on August 30 to identify the reasons behind the reconnaissance.

Pangarkar has been one of the crucial links in the entire probe as it is him who had arranged for training in Jalna, and also had provided arms and ammunition to other accused. Pangarkar has also been responsible for providing vehicle number plates with bogus registration numbers which were then either used in the murder of Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and Lankesh, or was used to conduct reconnaissance, added ATS sources.

“None of the accused participated in any of the killings or blasts because they were in need of money. All of them were ideologically motivated, and Pangarkar ensured that the need for money to travel, and other basic amenities was taken care of,” said an investigating officer, requesting anonymity.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 01:25 IST