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After Gauri Lankesh murder, Girish Karnad was on the hit list: SIT

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Renowned journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered allegedly by hardline Hindutva outfits on September 5 last year for voicing her leftist opinions, triggering to a national outrage. Now, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the Lankesh murder case have said that eminent film and theatre personality Girish Karnad and several other literateurs were on the hit list of Lankesh’s murderers.

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An Jnanpith Awardee, Karnad had voiced his rationalist opinions several times and it may be the reason that his name was on the hit list of the hardliner Hindutva outfits, suspects SIT officials, reports PTI on Wednesday. Not only Karnad, but politician-literateur B.T. Lalitha Naik, Veerabhadra Channamalla Swamy of Nidumamidi Mutt and rationalist C.S. Dwarakanath’s name also featured in the list of alleged murderers arrested by the team.

The information was revealed after the investigative team arrested 26-year-old Parashuram Waghmare from Sindhagi in Vijayapura district of Karnataka on Tuesday. The team claims to have recovered a diary from the suspects, which has the list of personalities speaking against the fundamentalist right-wing outfits. Co-incidently, the names are written in Devanagari script, but some entries are coded, which the team is trying to decode.

According to the reports, both Karnad and Naik share strong anti-Hindutva stance. On the other hand, Swamy had been a vocal critic of hardliner Hindutvavadis while and Dwarkanath had questioned the existence of Lord Rama. Previously too, renowned academician M M Kalburgi and Leftist politician Govind Pansare were murdered for allegedly holding similar viewpoints.

So far the SIT has arrested six people in connection with the murder of Lankesh, which include Parashuram Waghmare, K T Naveen alias Hotte Manja, Amol Kale, Manohar Edve, Sujeeth Kumar alias Praveen and Amit Degvekar. While Naveen Kumar is from Maddur in Mandya district of Karnataka, Amol Kale and Amit Degvekar are from Maharashtra. While police have arrested another four for trying to kill writer K.S. Bhagawan, who too has been vocal about Hindu Gods.

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