IndiaScoops.com Political Bureau | Mumbai | 17th July 2018: After BJP youth activists smeared black oil on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s constituency office over his comment that a “Hindu Pakistan” would be created if the ruling party at the Centre returned to power, a special police team probing the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh feels the Thiruvananthapuram MP’s life could be in grave danger, as several far-right organisations consider Tharoor a thorn in their sides for his ability to create a huge traction in the media with his one-liners and witty utterances against the ruling BJP government.
As an intellectual, Tharoor’s thoughts and views are frowned upon by certain elements in the pro-Hindutva, extreme right outfits, who consider him to be their enemy No 1.
Not just Tharoor, another 3-4 senior Opposition leaders from different regional political parties could possibly be on the hit-list of these secret far-right extremist outfits, a former IB official who now works for a defense security consulting firm told IndiaScoops.com.
However, while SIT sources confirmed that Tharoor could be on the hit-list of certain extremist Hindu outfits, other senior police officials brushed off the threat as mere speculation and rubbished rumours that Tharoor’s security has been beefed up substantially in the last 10 days.
According to reports appearing in local Thiruvananthapuram media, certain extremist elements from far right fringe groups like the Dharam Jagaran Samanvay Samiti, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena Hindustan, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Hindu Dharma Sena, Hindu Makkal Katchi, Hindu Rashtra Sena, Sanathan Sanstha, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini, etc., have formed a secret group to carry out executions or hits, similar to those of Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of author and critic Gauri Lankesh had earlier revealed that the killers of Gauri Lankesh had 2-3 more targets including actor Prakash Raj and were carrying out reconnaissance at the targets’ place of work and residence to find out the pattern and daily schedule of their targets.
It has now come to light that 2-3 senior politicians are also on the list of the main conspirators who are still at large. The SIT fears that the main conspirators one of whom is a retired army Colonel.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh strongly suspects the role of four top rung leaders, including a retired Indian Army Colonel, of a right-wing organisation, to be behind the murder who are directly connected to top leaders in the ruling BJP party at the Centre.
With investigations pointing towards their possible involvement, the SIT is trying to gather clinching evidence against them, sources in the SIT told The New Indian Express (TNIE)
The four persons are suspected to have given the ‘order’ to Amol Kale to eliminate Gauri, who reportedly invited their wrath by making derogatory speeches against Hindu religion.
A senior SIT official, on condition of anonymity, admitted to TNIE, that the role of the four men was strongly suspected in the murder.
“The four hold key positions in a right-wing organisation and one among them is a retired Colonel. Though we believe that the call for the murder was given by them, there is no substantial evidence against them. We are working on gathering evidence against them,” the official told TNIE.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the organisation is trying hard to shield the absconding accused persons in the case and substantial pressure is being exerted on the investigating officers.
“There are at least three accused persons involved in the case, who are still at large, and we have information that the organisation is helping and funding them to evade arrest,” the official added.
SIT sources told IndiaScoops.com that in the run up to the 2019 polls, at least two senior Congress politicians are on the hit list of this secret group, the four main conspirators of which are still at large and their actual identities are still unclear.
The SIT has so far arrested 6 persons linked to the Gauri Lankesh murder, including the man who pulled the trigger. The murder weapon – the gun which was used in two more shootings has not yet been found.
According to media reports, Tharoor was not present in the office when the attack by BJP Yuva Morcha took place. He was attending other functions in the city.
The BJP Yuva Morcha activists, shouting slogans, barged into the office and even tied a banner saying “Hindu Pakistan”
Senior Congress legislator V.D. Sateeshan told the media that the incident was a show of the BJP’s arrogance.
State Congress president M.M. Hassan and leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala strongly condemned the act.
Speaking on “Threats faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism” at an event in the city last week, Mr Tharoor said: “The great danger is that if they (the BJP) are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one.
“That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan,” Tharoor is reported to have said.
It is learnt that the secret right wing outfit had funded the entire operation.
“Amol Kale was being paid at least Rs 1.25 lakh every month since planning the operation to kill Gauri began in January 2017. The money was pumped by the outfit to arrange manpower and logistics as part of the mission,” the official said, claims a TNIE report.
with inputs from various agencies including NDTV, TNIE, TOI, etc.,