Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik compares Gauri Lankesh's murder with death of 'dog'; backtracks later

Right-wing fringe outfit Sri Ram Sene's chief Pramod Muthalik compared journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder to the death of a "dog" while addressing a public rally at Rajajinagar on Sunday. Muthalik was slamming the critics who had been asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence over Lankesh’s murder.

File image of Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik. CNN-News 18

File image of Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik. CNN-News18.

Addressing the rally, Muthalik said, “Two murders happened in Karnataka and two happened in Maharashtra during the Congress regime. No one is uttering a word over Congress government’s failure. Instead, they are asking why is Modi silent and not commenting on Lankesh’s death. Many wanted Modi to react after Lankesh’s death. Why should Modi react if some dog dies in Karnataka?” according to a Deccan Chronicle report.

However, the Hindutva fringe outfit's leader later clarified and said that he only meant that prime minister Modi cannot answerable for every death in Karnataka and that he did not directly compare Gauri Lankesh to a "dog". According to an India Today report, he also said that though his organisation had ideological differences with Lankesh, "We have not nor will we stoop down to murdering that person."

Parashuram Waghmare, a native of Sindhagi in Vijayapura district was arrested by the Special Investigative Team (SIT) from north Karnataka’s Vijayapura district last week. Waghmare had confessed to killing the journalist-activist to “save his religion”, PTI reported. A photograph of Muthalik and Waghmare surfaced in the media, leading to suspicions of his links with the Sene.

However, Muthalik had earlier denied having any links with Waghmare. “I attend several functions where people approach me and ask for pictures. Everyone who gets their picture clicked with me is not a member of my organisation. I don’t know who Parshuram is," he had said.

However, according to the India Today report, he later acknowledged that he knew him and had advocated for him in 2012 when he along with five others were arrested for hoisting the Pakistan flag in the Sindagi district in an alleged attempt to create communal tension.

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead by two bike-borne assailants outside her residence in Bengaluru on 5 September 2017. The murder triggered a nationwide outrage leading to the Karnataka government constituting a special investigation team to probe the murder. The team led by inspector general of police BK Singh has so far arrested six people, identified as KT Naveen Kumar, Sujith Kumar, Amol Kale, Manohar Edve, Amit Degvekar and Waghmare.

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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2018 08:28:39 IST

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