In a recent twist to the murder of controversial journalist Gauri Lankesh, the main accused Parashuram Waghmare has dropped a bombshell on Saturday when he claimed that the special investigation team (SIT) investigating the murder had offered him Rs 25 lakh to confess to the crime.
Speaking to the media, Waghmare reportedly said that he was facing severe torture to make him confess to the killing of Gauri Lankesh and he said that the SIT is also threatening him to fix his brothers in other cases if he does not follow the instructions.
According to reports, the accused Waghmare and Manohar Edave, along with other 11 other accused, were produced before the Karnataka Control of Organised Criminal Activities (KCOCA) special court by the CID. The accused while speaking to the media accused SIT of threat and intimidation.
Waghmare said, “I was offered Rs 25-30 lakh by an officer when I was being interrogated. The officials convinced me that the money would help my family members. Otherwise, they threatened that they would ‘fix’ my brothers and friends. During eight days of interrogation, they forced me to sign blank papers. While video recording my statement, the officials told me exactly what I had to tell.”
B K Singh, Additional Commissioner of Police, head of the SIT reject the allegations and called it as ‘baseless’. “I feel that it is not worth reacting to their allegations. Why they did not open their mouth before the judge when they were produced before the court after their arrest?”, Singh questioned the accused.
Waghmare reportedly claimed innocence and accused the police officials of falsely implicating him in the murder of Gauri Lankesh. “I did not even know who Gauri was till her murder was reported in the media,” he claimed. He also said the SIT had made him sign blank sheets of paper while in custody.
This comes after SIT had hit a roadblock when the accused Parashuram Waghmare, the man who allegedly open fired at Gauri Lankesh had recently refused to confess to the crime before the magistrate.
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, by unknown assailants outside her house in Bengaluru. The probe was handed over to the SIT who had arrested Parashuram Waghmare and Manohar Edave, along with other 11 other accused.