Bengaluru, Jun 13, 2018 : SIT probing Gauri Lankesh case had a breakthrough after they arrested 26-year-old Parshuram Wagmare on Monday who hails from Sindhagi in Bijapur.
Sources confirmed that Parashuram was the alleged killer and was the one who was handling the gun on the night of September 5, 2017. Parshuram has been taken into a 14-day police custody for further interrogation after he was produced before the 3rd ACMM Court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, an old picture of Parashuram with Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik has surfaced. The photograph has led to a flurry of allegations including Parashuram having affiliations with Ram Sene.
Right-wing organisations were quick to reject the speculations.
Mohan Gowda, spokesperson, Hindu Janajagruthi Samithi, said, "We don’t know who Parashuram is. He doesn’t belong to our organisation. We want a fair probe in Gauri case."
Pramod Muthalik of Sri Ram Sene also denied knowing Parashuram.
Following Parashuram’s arrest, the investigating officer MN Anucheth issued a statement, "In connection with the Gauri Lankesh case, the SIT has arrested one Parshuram Wagmare s/o Ashok Wagmare, aged 26 years from Sindhagi. He was produced before the 3rd ACMM Court and has been taken into 14 days police custody for further interrogation. His role in the conspiracy and other details will be revealed later as it would affect the investigation at this stage."
Upon hearing the news of Parashuram being arrested his father Ashok Chandrashekar Wagmore broke down. He said, "My son isn’t like that. He was just doing his daily work and earning. He used to be a part of Sri Ram Sene. He used to love temples. He used to visit temples. Maybe that’s the reason he’s targeted. He’s not guilty. I can’t say anything till court decides. I know 100 per cent he’s not the culprit. Police tortured him. I hope he walks out free. He used to work in a utensil shop."
Parashuram is a B.Com dropout and was working as a shopkeeper in a steel vessel shop in Sindaghi.
According to SIT, Parashuram might not be the hired shooter but one of the associates of the other accused in the case. Parashuram was given training to use country made 7.65 mm gun for months before the actual murder.
Karnataka CM G Parameshwara said, "I’ve known the developments in Gauri case. The accused has been taken into custody for 14 days now. SIT has been on a man hunt since Day 1 and have seen progress. I can’t comment on the accused belonging to any organisation. Investigation would reveal more details."
In 2012, Parashuram was also allegedly accused of hoisting Pakistan’s flag on the office of Sindagi’s revenue officer along with six others to create Hindu-Muslim tensions in the town. He was subsequently arrested, but the court had dismissed the case.
SIT is yet to arrest the rider who accompanied Parashuram on the day of the murder. Video analysis of CCTV footage revealed the height of the shooter which helped the police to nab him.