Nine-months after the brutal murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, the Special Investigation team, in a major breakthrough, arrested Parashuram Waghmore (26), who is suspected to be the shooter.
SIT sources had earlier revealed that Parashuram Waghmore was affiliated to the pro-Hindutva outfit, Shri Rama Sene. Now, a picture of Parashuram, with the Sene’s chief Pramod Muthalik is being circulated on social media. The photograph was reportedly taken a few years before.
Speaking to TNM, Pramod Muthalik blatantly refuted allegations that he knewParashuram Waghmore and has even denied that the accused was a part of the Shri Rama Sene.
“No, I don’t know him. Thousands of people click photos with me. Where ever I go, they click pictures. When I am walking on the road, people will come and click pictures with me. When I go to a hotel, they click pictures with me, in my house also they come and click pictures. So based on these photos, one cannot say that he is our (Shri Rama Sene’s) activist,” Muthalik said.
When asked whether he remembered Parashuram or when the photograph was taken, Muthalik said he could not recall such an instance at all.
“No, I don’t remember. Let it be. What can I do if the photo is being circulated? Can I stop it?” he said.
However, the chief of the pro-Hindutva outfit, who was acquitted in the Mangaluru pub attack case of 2009 for lack of witnesses, claimed that the police had, in the past as well tortured pro-Hindutva activists during questioning.
“He is an accused now. Let there be an inquiry. In the past also the police has arrested several pro-Hindutva activists and tortured them during questioning. Let them prove it in court first and if he is found guilty then he must be punished. Until then, we cannot say anything,” Muthalik told the media in Mangaluru.
When TNM asked him about the suspected motive behind Gauri Lankesh’s murder, Pramod Muthalik condemned the act.
“Its not right, its wrong. What they did was wrong. If Parashuram is found guilty, then he must be punished,” Muthalik added.