Bengaluru/Pune: The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti claimed on Saturday that Amol Kale, arrested on Thursday for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, left the organisation in 2008 because of “personal reasons”. Kale (40) along with Manohar Edve (30), Sujith Kumar alias Praveen (37) and Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep, were arrested by Karnataka Police’s Special Investigation Team.
“As far as Kale is concerned, he was associated with HJS in Pune till 2008 but had said he would not be able to continue with the organisation due to personal reasons,” Ramesh Shinde, HJS national spokesperson, “So for the last 10 years, he had stopped taking part in organisational activities. He is not in touch with the organisation,” Shinde added.
Ganesh Shinde, deputy commissioner of police, Zone-III, Pune, said: “(Kale) was first arrested in an attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and Arms Act case on 21 May by Bengaluru police.”
“On 23 May, Karnataka Police conducted a search at his residence in Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune. On 31 May, he was arrested in the Lankesh murder case,” the DCP said. According to police sources, Kale lives with his wife, son and mother in an apartment in Pimpri-Chinchwad and he reportedly has no police record in Pune.
When contacted, Kale’s wife refused to comment on the issue. Lankesh (55), known for her anti-Hindutva views, was shot dead in front of her home in Bengaluru on 5 September last year. A SIT probing the case filed its first chargesheet on 30 May before the first additional chief metropolitan magistrate in Bengaluru.