New Delhi, June 8: Journalist Gauri Lankesh and Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi were killed with the same gun, says a forensic report placed by the Karnataka police SIT before the court. The report, which was attached to the chargesheet filed by the SIT in the Lankesh murder, is the first official indication of possible links between the two murders, says The Indian Express. (Also read: Accused in SIT Custody) Also Read - Rahul Pleads Not Guilty in Defamation Case, Says Will Fight RSS, BJP Harder

Kalburgi was killed on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad and Lankesh on September 5, 2017, in Bengaluru. The forensic report enclosed in the chargesheet filed against KT Naveen Kumar, one of five persons accused in the Lankesh case, states that the bullets and cartridges in both the murders “have been fired through a single country made pistol chambered for 7.65 mm caliber pistol cartridges,” said the newspaper report. “The bullets in article no 6, 18 and 19 (the Lankesh case) and the bullets in article no 2 and 3 (the Kalburgi case) have been fired through a single country-made pistol chambered for 7.65 mm caliber pistol cartridges,” says the forensic report. It also contains details of the comparison between the “class characteristic marks” and “individual characteristic marks” of the firing pin on cartridge cases in the two murder cases, which “are tallying”. Also Read - Centre should take people's opinion into account before making decisions: Irom Sharmila



The Karnataka SIT arrested five people affiliated to Hindutva groups Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliate Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) who are suspected to have killed Lankesh. The chargesheet filed against the first person arrested, Naveen Kumar from Maddur in Karnataka, says Lankesh was killed for making statements against the Hindu religion and Gods. Last week, the SIT arrested four more who might have played significant roles in the murder. No arrests were made in the killing of Kalburgi. But forensic analysis of bullets and cartridges with those recovered in the shooting of Leftist thinker Govind Pansare and his wife in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015, showed that one of two 7.65 mm country guns used in the shooting of the Pansares matched the one used to shoot Kalburgi. Ballistic evidence states the second 7.65 mm country gun used in the Pansare murder was used to kill rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, 69, in Pune on August 20, 2013. Also Read - Don't rely on Gauri Lankesh case, probe killings of Dabholkar, Pansare independently: HC to CBI, CID