Five persons linked to Sanatan Sanstha key suspects in Gauri Lankesh murder


Just days after Karnataka Home Minister revealed that they had identified the killers of journalist Gauri Lankesh, five members of the Hindutva brigade Sanatan Sanstha have been described as key suspects behind her murder on 5 September. Of them four have Interpol red-corner notices against them for their alleged involvement in a bomb blast in Madgaon in Goa in 2009.

Photo: AFP

A report by Indian Express said that the five suspects were Praveen Limkar, 34, from Kolhapur; Jayaprakash alias Anna, 45, from Mangalore; Sarang Akolkar, 38, from Pune; Rudra Patil, 37, from Sangli and Vinay Pawar, 32, from Satara.

They are among the key suspects being investigated by a Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka police as part of its probe into the murder of Lankesh.

Earlier this week, Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that his government had established the identity of the killers but added that revealing their identity will jeopardise the investigation.

“We have got clues, but we cannot tell things to the media for now because we should have correct evidence for the clues we have got,” he said.

This is not the first time that Sanatan Sanstha has come under scanner for terror activities.

The CBI last year had arrested a senior functionary of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagriti Samiti in connection with the murder of Narendra Dabholkar.

Dr Virendra Tawde was arrested in Mumbai after the CBI conducted raids at his residence earlier this month.

Tawde, a former ENT surgeon at JJ Hospital, on the CBI’s radar and was questioned for over an hour at a Panvel farmhouse in December 2015. He has been a Sanstha sadak for more than 15 years.

In October last year, the Centre’s Modi government hadinformed the Bombay High Court that till date it had not found any satisfactory material to declare right wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha as a “terror outfit” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and ban it.