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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightGauri Lankesh case:...

Gauri Lankesh case: Forensic expert testified tissues on toothbrush matched DNA of "shooter"

Gauri Lankesh

Bengaluru: A forensic scientist has testified in court that the tissue samples taken from a toothbrush left at a hiding spot matched the DNA of Parashuram Vagmore, 30—the alleged gunman in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, 55—which occurred in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017.

On December 15, L. Purushotham, an assistant director and technical manager of the DNA section at the Karnataka State Forensic Science Laboratory, confirmed his findings at the court.

A number of findings were presented by Purushotham, including the fact that Vagmore's DNA matched tissues on a toothbrush and hair on bedsheets from hideouts belonging to other important murder suspects.

The DNA match is seen as a crucial piece of evidence connecting the Vagmore's presence in Bengaluru during the execution of the crime planned by a right-wing organisation. Vagmore was named as the shooter who shot Gauri Lankesh at her front door in the SIT charge sheet submitted in November 2018.

The toothbrush that had Vagmore's DNA was one of the personal items dumped after the murder by a building contractor, H L Suresh, whose home was used as a shelter for the murder's preparation and execution by six individuals, including Vagmore. Following the arrest of Suresh, an alleged activist of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, a Sanatan Sanstha affiliate, in August 2018, the SIT discovered a bag containing toothbrushes, clothing, and fraudulent vehicle license plates, Indian Express reported.

Amit Baddi, who provided logistical support, Suresh, and Ganesh Miskin, the claimed rider of the motorbike that transported the gunman to Lankesh's home, did not prove to be a DNA match of the abandoned toothbrushes at the hideaway.

The SIT discovered a match between DNA strands from hair found on a blanket at the hideout and the DNA profile of the alleged mastermind of the murderer, Amol Kale, 39, a former Pune convenor of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, in addition to the DNA evidence linking the shooter to the hideout before the murder. The SIT has identified Kale as the primary accused in the murder of Lankesh.

The DNA extracted from hair samples supplied by the SIT was identical to the DNA profile of Amol Kale but not Vagmore, according to Purushotham, who testified before the trial court.

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