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Karnad was on the hit list of Lankesh murder suspects: SIT

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Eminent film and theatre personality Karnad and several litterateurs and rationalists were on the hit list of those suspected of killing journalist-activist Lankesh, officials said today.

Besides Karnad, a recipient of the Jnanpith Award, the highest honour in literature, politician-litterateur B T Lalitha Naik, pontiff Veerabhadra Channamalla Swamy of Nidumamidi Mutt and rationalist C S Dwarakanath also figured in the list, sources in the SIT probing the Lankesh murder case said.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has recovered a diary from the suspects with entries in Devanagari script. The diary has the names of these personalities, known for their strong views against hardline Hindutva, who were to be targeted, sources told

Some entries, they said, are coded and efforts are on to decipher them.

The SIT had said yesterday it had arrested 26-year-old from Sindhagi in Vijayapura district of but his role in the conspiracy and other details would be revealed later as doing so now would affect the investigation.

Speculation is rife that Waghmare could be Lankesh's assassin as his physical appearance matched that of the man in the CCTV footage recovered from her residence who was suspected of having shot her.

Waghmare was said to have links to Hindu right wing groups.

of Police B K Singh, who heads the SIT, had told yesterday that nothing had emerged during the probe so far to suggest that Waghmare had shot Lankesh.

Karnad is known for his strong anti-Hindutva stance and so is Lalitha Naik. Veerabhadra Channamalla Swamy is also a of hardline Hindutva, while rationalist Dwarkanath had once even questioned the existence of Lord Rama, raising the hackles of pro-Hindu outfits.

"All these people were either admirers or supporters of Lankesh or had a viewpoint similar to hers. The others mentionedin the diary too were vocal about Hindutva," SIT sources said.

The SIT has so far arrested six people -- Parashuram Waghmare, K T Naveen alias Hotte Manja, Amol Kale, Manohar Edve, alias Praveen and

While Naveen Kumar is from Maddur in Mandya district of Karnataka, and are from

Four others were caught while planning to kill K S Bhagawan, who has come under repeated attack from Hindu outfits for speaking "scornfully" about Hindu Gods.

Lankesh, a with strong Leftist views and anti-Hindutva ideology, was killed at the entrance of her house here on September 5 evening last year,triggering a nationwide outrage.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 19:20 IST