Bullets, once fired, have their own stories to tell. In their unique signatures—the tiny markings, the tell-tale dents. Not very long after the assassination of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh on September 5 last year, a piece of ballistic evidence—a vital part of the vast and complex jigsaw puzzle of conspiracies and murders—was seen by investigators in Karnataka as a link to the killing of rationalist-writer M.M. Kalburgi, who was gunned down in 2015 in Dharwad, more than 400km from Bangalore. Kalburgi’s killing, it is suspected, is further connected to the identically-executed murders of two other rationalists, Narendra Dabholkar (2013) and Govind Pansare (2015), in Maharashtra.
Gauri Lankesh, editor of the Kannada weekly Gauri Lankesh Patrike and a strident critic of the RSS-BJP, was shot dead by two assailants on a motorcycle outside her home in Bangalore. A year later, the trail of a network of radical Hindu right-wing operatives that investigators in Karnataka have been piecing together now appears to be widening, and their paths criss-crossing. All through last week, the action shifted to Maharashtra where the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Sachin Andure, the alleged killer of Dabholkar.