Gauri case: Fingerprints lead to arrest of techie

Bengaluru: He did everything possible to cover up the trail of blood, but his finger prints on a trunk that he had locked in a hurry after hiding the killer contraband 7.65 mm pistol gave him away.

Sudhanva Gondhalekar – a 39-year-old techie and businessman from Karanji Peth in Satara district, who was recently arrested along with Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kasalkar in arms haul case in Maharashtra by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), is reportedly involved in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

According to sources, he had allegedly assisted in concealing the murder weapon – the 7.65mm country made pistol, which was used to kill Gauri. He had come to Bengaluru from Satara after Gauri’s murder and had taken back the pistol from Amol Kale – his alleged friend from Pune and an accused in the Gauri murder case, and had kept the firearm inside a trunk, which he had locked and left in the custody of Suresh – the man, who had rented out his house in Seegehalli to the accused. Suresh has also been arrested in the case.

Gondhalekar’s finger prints on the trunk have reportedly given him away. “He will soon be questioned by the Karnataka Special Investigation Team in Mumbai and if need be, he will be brought to Bengaluru on transit remand,” said a source on condition of anonymity.

What happened thereafter to the killer 7.65mm pistol remains a mystery. It has not been found till date. Former Shiv Sena councilor from Jalna district and suspect in the recent arms haul case in Maharashtra – Srikant Pangarkar – is another person of “utmost interest” in the earlier two murder cases in Maharashtra, Prof Narendra Dabholkar, and Comrade Govind Pansare, and Prof M.M. Kalburgi in Karnataka.

Pangarkar was arrested last week from Jalna by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS). “Pangarkar has reportedly played a pivotal role in the recent arms haul case in Maharashtra, which led to the arrest of three suspects – Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Gondhalekar from Bhandar Aali area of Nallasopara West in Palghar district and Satara by the ATS. 

His arrest is a major breakthrough in unearthing of the illegal and unnamed organization of the fringe Right wing hardliners in the country, especially in Maharashtra and Karnataka, which has been brought together by a mastermind to bring down some rationalists and Hindutva baiters. Gondhalekar reportedly has a strong nexus with the fringe Hindutva ideologues and suppliers of illegal firearms, bullets and explosives,” added the source.

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