Bengaluru, Jun 01, 2019 : In a breakthrough in investigation of the murder of Kannada Litterateur MM Kalburgi, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday, 31 May, said they have the custody of Ganesh Miskin, the suspected shooter and Krishnamurthy who drove the shooter to and from Kalburgi’s residence on 30 August, 2015, sources in the SIT told The Quint.
Miskin was already in SIT custody for his alleged role in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, while Krishamurthy was arrested on Friday, 31 May.
The SIT has reported the breakthrough after more than four years since the murder. The case was earlier investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Karnataka police. However, after the CID investigation didn’t make any progress, the case was transferred to SIT after they found links between the murders of Gauri Lankesh and MM Kalburgi.
The initial investigation had pinned Ganesh Miskin and Amit Baddi, both from Hubballi and allegedly part of the hit team that killed journalist Gauri Lankesh, to be the shooter and biker in the murder of Kalburgi.
However, a mismatch in the eye witness accounts of the shooter, and the biker prompted the police for further investigation. While eye witness accounts of the shooter matched that of Miskin, eye witness accounts of the biker did not match Baddi, according to the SIT sources.
Later the biker was identified as Krishnamurthy.
The breakthrough in the Kalburgi murder case came during the investigation into Gauri Lankesh’s murder. Two men who were part of the team that murdered Gauri Lankesh, in their voluntary statements to the SIT, claimed they had conducted the recce of Kalburgi’s house before his murder in 2015.
Ganesh Miskin (28) and Amit Ramachandra Baddi (27) were arrested from Hubli district in north Karnataka by a team of the SIT, on 22 July 2018. According to the SIT, the two men were present at the crime scene on 5 September, on the night of Lankesh’s murder. Miskin took the assassin, Parashuram Waghmore, to Lankesh’s house on a motorcycle, while Baddi provided logistical support.
Who is Krishnamurthy?
Krishnamurthy is alleged to be part of an unnamed gang formed in 2011 to target ‘durjans’, people who are ‘anti-hindu’, from its inception. However, information whether he was overtly associated with any organisation before or after that is yet to be ascertained.
Krishnamurthy’s identification came days after the SIT took Amol Kale, the kingpin who led the gang that killed rationalists and writers in Maharashtra and Karnataka, into custody for interrogation. Kale is already a prime accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.
Interrogation of Amol Kale is said to have revealed vital clue leading to the arrest of Krishnamurthy, according to sources in the SIT.
Further, a Test Identification Parade is set to be held by eye witnesses to identify the shooter and biker in the coming days.
Professor Kalburgi was shot dead by two bike-borne assailants posing as college students on 30 August 2015 inside his house. Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru on 5 September 2017.