Two eyewitnesses identify Waghmore as Gauri’s killer

Two eyewitnesses identify Waghmore as Gauri’s killer

Arrested suspect, Parashuram Waghmore

Four days after the arrest of Parashuram Waghmore, two eyewitnesses have identified him as the man who pulled the trigger to kill senior journalist Gauri Lankesh on September 5.

Sources in the Special Investigation Team said a journalism student and a construction labourer have identified Waghmore as the killer. They further added that labourers were sleeping at an under-construction building close to Gauri’s residence. On the night of September 5, one of them saw her killer closely. Similarly, the journalism student from Raichur, staying in a PG accommodation close to Gauri’s residence, also saw him coming out of her compound and fleeing the scene.

Based on their description, SIT officials made an artistic sketch of the killer and another accused a day after the murder.

The two witnesses were called after the arrest of the accused and they picked Waghmore in the identification parade.

A senior official said all the accused were paraded before them.

The journalism student said Waghmore hurried out of Gauri’s house and sped away. He stopped after crossing him and stared back.

Of the three sketches they made, one matched 75% to Waghmore. The SIT will take Waghmore to Gauri’s residence to reconstruct the crime. They will make him wear the helmet and the jacket and send the footage to the Forensic Science Laboratory for matching it with the original CCTV footage from the day of the killing.

SIT officials referred to their investigation, which showed Amol Kale, the third accused in the case, as the mastermind behind the killing. They are still to arrest three more accused, including Nihal alias Dada. A senior official said the probe will be completed with the arrests.

'Work would be graced by god'

On Friday, SIT officials took Waghmore to Magadi Road, where he stayed with others for a few days before shooting Gauri. They collected information from the neighbours about Waghmore and held spot mahazar.

Waghmore told the SIT that a few people have brainwashed him to commit the crime. Claiming to be a protector of religion, he said his work would be graced by god.