Gauri Lankesh
Gauri Lankesh

Lecture delivered by Adv S Balan,  Special public prosecutor for Gauri Lankesh murder case, at IIT Madras organized by Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle on April 13th 2019. 

In the year 2013, Dabholkar was killed.

In 2015, Pansare was killed. Again in 2015, Kalburgi was killed.

In 2017, Gauri was killed.

The modus operandi in these murders is the same. A motor cycle is used by the killers; the pillion rider shoots. These killings were orchestrated by an organization named Sanathan Sanstha, which was founded in 1990 by 3 Goa based doctors, Dr. Balaji Athavale, Dr. Punha and Dr. Jayadesh. The manifesto of Sanatan Sanstha is called ‘Kshatra Dharma’, which was published in 1995. According to Vedas, the ‘Kshatra Dharma’ means ‘silencing of dissent’.

Between 1997 to 1999, Sanatan Sanstha worked towards infusing the idea that destruction of the vice is a spiritual practice, thus justifying killing their enemy. From 2002 to 2006, they began silencing dissent, either by physically terminating the enemy or by intimidating him through psychological means. From 2007 to 2022, is the ground work for building a Hindu Rashtra or Divine Kingdom. 3 years from 2023 is for the establishment of the Hindu Rashtra.

Kshatra Dhrama: Manifesto

According to Kshatra Dharma, evil-doers are to be annihilated and ‘seekers’, saints, ‘Gurus’ and Gods should be protected. An evil-doer is one who hinders or thwarts the establishment of the Hindu Rashtra, who opposes the Dharma and the ‘righteous’ people who uphold the ‘Dharma’. According to Sanatan Sanstha, evil-does constitute 5% of the society. Seekers constitute 10% and 85% of the people are the general public, who are selfish and not willing enough to establish the Hindu Rashtra. Annihilating this 5% of the evil-doers is considered a spiritual practice.

According to ‘Varnashrama Dharma’, spiritual practice differs for the four classes of people; Brahmana, Kshatriyas, Vaishya and Shudras. The spiritual practice for a Shudra is to clear the land of bushes and to build and establish an Ashrama. Once the Ashrama is built, Shudras have to clean toilets and maintain its cleanliness. Brahmana is the preist, meant to read and understand the Vedas. Kshatriya is the warrior and a Vaishya does business. This scheme is mentioned in a book, Kshatra Dharma Sadhana, brought out by the organization, Sanatan bharatiya sanskruti sanstha.

According to this belief, Seers who are considered superior to scientists are the ones who predicted what would happen for another 400 years. They apparently predicted the World Wars. The third world war was predicted to happen between 1999 to 2006. The Seers are thus, supreme human beings who can foretell things, which Science cannot do. The Seers are to be revered.

They believe there are 4 Yugas, namely, Satya Yug, Treta Yug, Dwapara Yug and Kali Yug. Satya Yug was an era of domination by Brahmins. In Treta Yug, Brahmins and Kshatriyas reigned supreme, while in Dwapara Yug, Vaishyas also dominated along with Brahmins and Kshatriyas. Kali Yug belonged to all the 4 Varnas. To establish a Satya Yug in Kali Yug, or the supremacy of Brahmins, spiritual practice for 20 years is required. This is the scheme of Sanatan Sanstha.

Who are the targets?

According to them, killing of unrighteous people by righteous people is not considered as violence or sin. To justify the killings, they bring in the analogy of a person affected by gangrene. If gangrene has affected the legs, the legs will have to be amputated. Likewise, the evil-doers who speak against the Shathru Varna are to be done away with. Sanatan Sanstha has given a detailed description about who the evil-doers are:

The hackers who encroach upon the pavements

The trade union leaders who demand a hike in wages

Farmers who ask for better prices

Doctors, Professors who demand higher salary

Inspired from Gita?

Kshatra Dharma also spells out the ‘when, where and how’ of the annihilation of the evil-doers. They quote Krishna who showed Arjuna his ‘Viswaroopa’, to motivate Arjuna to kill the Kouravas. Similarly, they call for the annihilation of Ambedkarites, Periyarists, atheists, rationalists. Anyone who speaks for the equality in the society, against the Brahmanical order is to be killed. While killing using weapons, name of Lord Kishna is to be chanted. By chanting, arrow is sure to hit the target to be killed. Similarly, while shooting with a gun, even a murderer with no training in shooting is sure to hit the target. Like Sudarshan Chakra, the bullet will hit the target and come back. The entire book Shasthra Dharma is a detailing speaks about killing, justifying it, and also detailing how to escape after the killing. I have a copy of this book.

Meticulous Planning

The killers are selected by VHP, Bajrang Dal, RSS, Hindu Sena, Shiv Sena and other extremist Hindu outfit. Goondas with 3 to 4 cases registered against them are selected as killers. The selection process and killing process are carried out by an unnamed organiztion. Nobody knows the name of the organization, floated by Dr. Virendrasinh Tawade, an ENT specialist. Tawade was arrested for Dabholkar’s murder. After his arrest, a Pune based Engineer, Amol Kale was running the organization. The modus operandi of the killing is the same. They randomly select a shooter and take his phone number to contact him. They don’t meet the shooter in person. They ask the shooter to come to a particular place, make him wait for 2 to 3 hours, under observation. Then, after talking to him, they plan meticulously about how to execute the murder and how to escape afterwards. Everything is well planned. If say, Amol Kale from Pune comes to Bangaore. He keeps his mobile phone switched on somewhere in Belgaum or in Maharastra, while he is Bangalore planning a murder. They purchase bullets from an ordinance factory and weapon is purchased from the black market. Immediately after executing the murder, they destroy the weapon.

Political Connections

In 2008, this organization planted a bomb in Panvel, in an auditorium where a meeting like this was happening. In 2009, they bombed a theatre that was screening Jodha Akbar. In 2009, Sanatan Sanstha had a convention in Chennai, which was inaugurated by Kanchi Madathipathi, Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, in the month of  April. In June 2009, the Madathipathi went to Bandora Ashram of Sanatan Sanstha, to light lamps and wish the organization success throughout India. Sanatan Sanstha has a huge support base. Wives of Maharahstra and Goa ministers are part of the organization. After murdering Dabholkar in 2013, they held a convocation in Goa. Greetings were sent by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Then, he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Sanatan Sanstha has strong political connections. The terror network of Sanatan Sanstha is no secret. Intelligence Bureau, RAW, Intelligency agency, ATS of Maharastra, Intelligence Agency of Goa are all well aware of it. But nobody dares to make any arrests.

Dabholkar, Pansare and Gauri

For Dabholkar murder case, CBI arrested some members of the organization. However, they didn’t file a charge sheet. Hence, all arrested got mandatory bail. Nobody was arrested after the murder of Pansare. After several protests in Maharashtra they arrested a few and filed a charge sheet. Afterwards, they recovered a fake revolver. This was sent for testing in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gujarat. All 3 centers didn’t accept this revolver as the weapon used. Finally, they got a positive certificate from Maharastra, that this revolver was used to kill both Panasare and Dabholkar. They filed a charge sheet afterwards. This is how the investigating agency handled this case.

Things changed only after Gauri Lankesh murder case, as the Government was different in Karnataka. It was a Congress Government and they formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT), with able police officers, under the leadership of DIG, B K Singh. They first arrested a person named Naveen from a bus stand, while he was carrying cartridges and bullets. After Naveen’s interrogation, Sujith Kumar was arrested, in whose diary they found the names of Amol Kale and Degwekar. They were later arrested from Maharastra. It was later revealed that they gave training to Wagmore, who shot Gauri Lankesh. Wagmore had earlier hoisted a Pakistani flag in Deedar to create communal disharmony. Wagmore was arrested and charge sheet was filed against him. Along with Wagmore, Kalaskar was arrested, who had also received training alongside Wagmore. Training was provided by Bangera from Madikeri, who is an expert in handling weapons. Training was from Maharastra, where a tree was used as a target for practice. Investigating agency collected bullet particles from this tree.


According to Shaastra Dharma, the killers will be bestowed with the best life for 7 births hereon. They would be born into rich families like Ambani, Tata, Adani, Bill gates family etc. The opportunity to kill is seen as a rare one. Krishna motivated Arjuna to kill the Kauravas, by saying that it is a rare opportunity for Arjuna to get moksha. The basis for this belief lies in Bhagavad Gita and a chapter in Uthara Kanda.

In Bhagavad Gita, chapter 4 verse 13, according to a translation from the year 1894 by Maharaja of Travncore using the biblical English. “But, I made the four castes and portioned them a place based on their qualities and gifts. Yes, I created the reposeful. I, the immortality, created the mortal works. This is called chātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛiṣhṭaṁ. I only created 4 varnas, 4 castes.” Shaastra Dharma means that those who violate the dictates of Krishna in Bhagavad Gita will be eliminated. This is from Bhagavad Gita.

In Uthara Kanda a part is called Rama Rajya. In all other Kandas, Rama was not in rule. “When Rama was ruling in the company of Bharatha and Lakshmana, with the assistance of Shatrughana. A villager, an old Brahmin arrived at the place gate with his son’s dead body. That Brahmin wailed, “My son has not yet completed 14 years. I have never seen or heard of a dreadful death of a boy at such young age.” Hearing his words, Rama was greatly sorry and began searching for a reason. In the golden age, Brahmans are the most powerful. In Thretayug, Brahmins and Kshatriyas are the most powerful. Then, why is it that this boy met with this fate? In reply, his councilors said, “Oh king! One Shudra, under the influence of vicious understanding,  has begun to devote within the kingdom. He has started to read Vedas, which is why this Brahmin boy died”. Then, Rama goes in search of this Shudra and found him hanging upside down from a tree, and reading Vedas. Rama questions him “Oye, look which Varna you belong to?.” The boy replies “With this body, I want to go to heaven. Oh highly illustrious Rama, I’m born in the race of Shudras. With a view to reach the region of celestials with my body, I’m going through these, as it’s penances. Oh Kakushantha, I shall never utter a false word, since I’m willing to conquer the region of Gods. I’m a Shudra. My name is Shambuka.” The Shudra having said this, Rama took out his sharp sword and chopped off his head. Indra, Agni and other celestials praised him again and again and showered him with flowers. Why did Rama kill Shanmukha? This is the basis for Sanatan Sanstha. This is the essence of Kshatra Dharma. This is the scheme of Hindu Janajagratha Samithi.

The Hit List

They have listed communists, atheists, marxists, periyarists to be killed. In Maharastra, they have listed Kolse Patil, a retired judge who is an ambedkarite, who speaks for equality and fights for Dalit rights. In Karnataka, they have listed 36 intellectuals and scholars. They killed 2 already. As far as Prof. Bhagawan is concerned, they went to kill him and also conducted recce. But, Bhagwan was protected with armed guards and hence, he was safe. By that time, the spine of this conspiracy was broken in Karnataka, after the SIT arrests.

In Tamil Nadu, they listed about 46 atheists, intellectuals, scholars and generalists to be eliminated. They have local support as well. The major aim of this group is to kill. They have made lists, they have financial support ,they have everything to attack people .

Inactiveness of State

But what is most worrisome is that the person who floated this organization, Balaji Athawale, is still scot-free and in Pune Ashram. They published a magazine called Sanatan Prabha, threatening each and every scholar and praising the killers. They publish the scheme of Kshatra Dharma every month, but nobody is raising an objection.

Everyone knows that RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi. But, RSS leaders were not arrested in the name of conspiracy. Similarly, in the murder of these four intellectuals, investigation reveals that Sanatan Sanstha and their ideology that is behind this. But so far, Sanatan Sanstha ashram in Goa has not been seized. Intelligence agencies don’t dare to enter in to the ashram gate. Now, Sanatan Sanstha has hundred training centers. They publish this information in their own magazine. More than two thousand cadets are trained to handle weapons to kill and to lynch. In the name of cow people are being lynched but this is not reported by the media. They are not touched by the intelligence agency. If there is communal disharmony in a particular place, weapons are used by this group to kill the minorities. Killers are well trained by this organization. They are across the nation and can strike terror at any time. This is well known to intelligence agency. Yet, they don’t do anything. Now, the case is in the court.

Similarly, Abhinav Bharat is also an organization having similar connections. Aseemanand got accused in Malegaon blast case, Mecca Masjid blast case and Samjhauta express blast case. Aseemananda’s statement was recorded by the Magistrate, where he accepted his responsibility in Samjhauta Express blast which killed about 80 people. He planted a bomb in Hyderabad, killing lot of Muslims. In his statement, he said that he had a talk with Modi before the blast; that Modi was aware that Aseemananda was going to plant the bomb. But, Modi was not arrested. But, in a similar situation, Madini is in Bangalore jail. Madini was arrested, after three years of arrest of other accused persons. One accused said that he is in contact with Madini and as a result, Madini is in jail for the last 8 years. The statement was made by Aseemananda before the judge, when Modi was the prime ministerial candidate. Their tactic is to blame the judge, fight with the judge and then get a judge appointed, who  have a RSS background. They also try to get a public prosecutor with a similar background. As a result, Aseemananda, Purohit and Pragya got acquitted.

Gauri Lankesh Murder Case

Sanatan sanstha is also follows similar tactics. They have already made allegations against the judge who handled the Gauri Lankesh case. Then, the case was transferred to another court. Then, they transferred two public prosecutors. Now I am the Special Public Prosecutor. When I entered into the case, KOCA ( Karnataka Organized Crime Act) was invoked. So, we are able to assist the investigation agency to get a report with digital evidence. The report was obtained from Gujarat.  At the time of shooting, they cover their heads with a helmet and a muffler. Only eyes and nose are visible from outside. It’s meticulously planned. Driver was also given a weapon. If the pillion rides fails to hit the target, then driver shoots. This murder was planned over 3 years. Everything is provided; logistics, weapon training, motivation, indoctrination and movement of target. They destroy the weapon used, such that it can never be unearthed.

In Gauri Lankesh murder case, the weapon was thrown into running water. It’s impossible to recover it. After shooting, the killers were received and three shelters are provided. The motorcycle used was a stolen one, fitted with a fake registration number. Investigation agency tried it’s best to solve the crime. It is a fantastic investigation in the history of India. It is straight fitting case. Each and every circumstance is supported, by both documentary and expert evidence. It is a tight case with no escape. As a public prosecutor, I don’t mind telling that there is a possibility of death penalty for the accused. It was only after unearthing the Gauri Lankesh case, that the Maharashtra ATS was able to arrest the killers of Dabholkar and Pansare. Now, the killers of Kalburgi are also located. The organization is also exposed.

In history and mythology, there are several instances of killings to silence the voice of dissent. When sambuka was killed, I didn’t raise my voice. I kept quiet, because I was not a Shudra. When Ekalavya’s finger was cut, I didn’t raise my voice because I was not a hunter. When Gandhi was killed, I kept quiet because I was not a freedom fighter. When Dabholkar was killed, I kept quiet because I was not a rationalist. When Pansare was killed, I kept quiet because I was not a communist. When Gauri was killed, I kept quiet because I was not a journalist. Now, they have listed hundreds of scholars, journalists, Ambedkarites, etc. What are we going to do? Can we just trust our investigation agency and keep quiet? Can we just trust our justice dispensary system and keep quiet? These types of organizations are surfacing every now and then. Yesterday, it was Abhinav Anand. Today, it’s Sanatan Sanstha. Bajrang Dal is giving arms-training and so is RSS. Right wing elements are armed. They have the capacity to kill everyone at their choice. The judge who gave them a favorable judgement was elevated as the Kerala Governor.

So this is the mindset of those in power. Now, they are destroying each and every institution which is democratically created under the constitution. Now the fight is CBI vs CBI. It’s RBI vs. RBI. Every democratic institution is under threat. Universities are under threat. Fascism is dominating every system of the society. Is it possible to blindly trust the law enforcement agency; the lawmaker, law keeper and law breaker? Law maker is also a law breaker and law keeper is an agent of the law breaker. What is to be done? I will leave the choice to you.


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