Gauri Lankesh murder: Accused were in touch with men from Maharashtra

Mumbai/Bengaluru: The Maharashtra police told a city court on Monday that former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar, arrested in the arms haul case, was in touch with an accused who is in custody of their counterparts in connection with Gauri Lankesh murder case.

The accused, Amol Kale, arrested in connection with the killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. Pangarkar and three other accused in the arms haul case - Sharad Kalaskar, Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar - were produced before Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Padalkar after their police remand ended.

The fifth accused Avinash Pawar is in ATS custody till Tuesday.

They were arrested last month by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the seizure of arms and ammunition from different parts of the state.

Seeking extension of Pangarkar's remand, the ATS told the court that it had received a report from the Karnataka police that his name was found in a diary seized from an accused who is in their custody in connection with Gauri murder case.

The anti-terror agency told the court that Pangarkar was using two mobile phones. One of them had certain text messages which showed his connection with the man who is in custody of the Karnataka police.

The ATS added that it also needs to find out whether the Karnataka accused attended an arms training camp allegedly run by Pangarkar in Jalna, his home district in central Maharashtra.

The court extended Pangarkar's police custody till September 6. It sent Raut and Gondhalekar to 14-day judicial custody after the ATS said their police remand was not required.

It also granted the custody of Kalaskar to the CBI for probing his alleged role in the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013. 

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