Bengaluru: The special investigation team (SIT) probing Gauri Lankesh murder has taken former Shiv Sena Corporator Shrikant Pangarkar into custody from the Mumbai prison. His custody was sought after interrogating Sudhanva Gondhalekar, an associate of Pangarkar, who allegedly revealed the latter’s involvement in the murder conspiracy. It is also suspected that he played a major role in arranging logistics and extending financial support for procuring arms and ammunition.
“We took him into custody as we have found vital revelations from Gondhalekar, which linked him with the 7.65mm country-made pistol that was used to murder both Gauri Lankesh and Prof M M Kalburgi. The Maharashtra ATS had arrested him last month. Pangarkar is also alleged to be involved in providing funds for crude bombs and conducting recce at different spots. Searches were carried out in Jalna and Aurangabad on August 18 and the ATS had recovered one hard disc and three mobile phones,” the police said.
During interrogation, it was reportedly revealed that Pangarkar is closely associated with Amol Kale and his co-accused Amit Degwekar, who were in charge of their covert operations in Karnataka. Pangarkar was reportedly known to them as ‘Praji’ and was listed under this alias in the diary that was recovered by the SIT from Amol Kale.
The investigating agencies are presently tracking his financial transactions after it emerged later that he was also connected with Sachin Andure, suspected to be one of the shooters in the Dabholkar case.