Bengaluru : The Gauri Lankesh murder case has taken a new twist with the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the killing, suspecting that groups in Maharashtra and Goa wedded to extreme right Hindu ideologies were planning to trigger something bigger and sinister. A Ponda-based ashram has now emerged as the driving force behind those arrested over Gauri murder and a bigger plan to trigger fear in communities.

What raised suspicion in the SIT was when officers who interrogated the accused in the Gauri Lankesh found a string of confessions pointing towards plans of preparing circuits, like those used in Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

The documents and the probe strongly hinted that the suspects belonged to the offshoot of a Goa and Maharashtra based outfits which were active for at least five years from 2006. The outfit had come under the scanner of the security agencies for their alleged involvement in Malegaon and Margao blasts.

According to investigating agencies, a Ponda-based outfit was planning to detonate explosives in sensitive spots to create communal tension. It may be recalled that Parashuram Waghmare, the alleged shooter of Gauri Lankesh, was arrested for hoisting a Pakistan flag outside Taluk office in Sindhagi town of Vijayapura in 2012 to whip up communal frenzy in the town. He was however acquitted in the case last week on technical grounds.

The new findings are just strings from confessions. The SIT will have a tough job to weave together a solid set of charges backed by proof.

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