The man whose arrest unravelled the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, and journalist Gauri Lankesh, has given a meticulous account of the preparation and conspiracy behind it. Sharad Kalaskar, who has been charged in Gauri Lankesh's case, claimed to have been linked to the right-wing men who had planned all the murders. In his confession to the Karnataka police, made in October last year after his arrest, Sharad Kalaskar has also claimed to be the shooter who killed Narendra Dhabolkar.
In the murder of Gauri Lankesh, he was involved in the planning and logistics and was given the responsibility of disposing of the weapon used the alleged shooter Parashuram Waghmare.
On the evening of September 5, 2017, the 26-year-old had pumped four bullets into the journalist as she was opening her front gate after returning home from work.
In his confession, a copy of which is with NDTV, Sharad Kalaskar said in August 2016, there was a meeting in Belgaum where the names of people working against Hinduism were listed. In that meeting, the name of Gauri Lankesh came up and it was decided that she has to be killed.
The detailed plan was made at a meeting at home of Bharat Kurne, who is one of the accused in the case and played an active role in the conspiracy. On the first day of the meeting, Amol Kale gave the attendees different responsibilities. The murder was codenamed "Event". Days later, Sharad Kalaskar, Parshuram Waghmare alias builder and another accused Mithun along with Bharat Kurne went to the hills near in Bharat Kurne home to practice shooting. Everyone fired 15 to 20 rounds that evening as target practice.
Then Amol Kale asked everyone to return to their villages, saying they should return only on the day of the 'Event'. Amol Kale has also been arrested and charged with conspiracy in the murder of Gauri Lankesh.
After the murder, Kalaskar had disposed of the gun - disassembled and thrown into three different parts of a creek near the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is in charge of the case, is likely to hire foreign experts to recover it, sources said.
Sharad Kalaskar was arrested last October in connection with an arms haul in Maharashtra's Nallasopara. But during investigation, his connection to the murder of the rationalists surfaced. He was charged with conspiracy and murder of Gauri Lankesh, but during questioning, his he mentioned details about the murders of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.