New Delhi, June 16: Parashuram Waghmare, the last of the six suspects arrested in connection with the case, on Friday confessed to killing journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. Upon questioning, 26-year-old Waghmare told police that he didn’t know who he was going to kill and was asked to execute the crime to “save his religion”. 55-year-old journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, the Editor of “Lankesh Patrike”, was shot dead outside her residence in the city’s suburb by unidentified assailants on September 5 last year.
“I was told in May 2017 I had to kill someone to save my religion. I agreed. I didn’t know who the victim was. Now I feel that I should have not killed the woman,” Times of India quoted sources as saying. Waghmare further told the SIT that he was trained to use an airgun in Belagavi and was brought to Bengaluru on September 5.
He told the investigation team that he was first taken to a flat and thence, was shown the house of “the person” he had to kill. “The next day, the biker took me to another room in Bengaluru. Another man in the room took me to the R R Nagar house again on a bike and dropped me back,” he said. He was again taken to Lankesh’s house and told that he had to finish the job that day itself. “But Gauri had returned from work by then and was inside her house,” he said.
On September 5, he was given a gun and was taken to Gauri Lankesh’s house in R R Nagar. Waghmare didn’t have to wait since Gauri Lankesh had arrived at her house and had been parking her car in front of her gate when the accused approached her. “I coughed lightly and she turned towards me. I pumped four bullets into her,” he told SIT. Waghmare then returned to the room and left the same that same day. (Related: Girish Karnad, Several Others Were on the Hit List of Suspects, Say Police)
Waghmare was taken into custody on June 12 in connection with the murder of Kannada tabloid editor Gauri Lankesh last September. “In connection with the Gauri Lankesh case, the SIT has arrested Parshuram Wagmare, hailing from Sindagi (in Karnataka’s Vijayapura district),” Special Investigation Team Investigation Officer M.N. Anucheth said in a statement. The accused was produced in a court here on Tuesday and was sent to 14 days of police custody for interrogation.