Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi were killed with the same 7.65mm country-made pistol, preliminary findings of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory have indicated.
"Given our wherewithal, we could establish an 80 per cent similarity in the weapon used in the two crimes," a source with access to the preliminary report said.
Kalburgi was shot dead in August 2015 in his Dharwad residence. Forensic reports had established the pistol used to kill Kalburgi was used to gun down communist leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, a few months earlier.
The preliminary report is likely to be submitted to the Special Investigation Team probing the case on Wednesday. Officers who are part of the SIT have questioned about 80 people from different parts of Bengaluru and other districts, including Maoist-affected areas, police sources said.
The SIT is looking for someone who visited Lankesh's house thrice on the day she was murdered (September 5), once about 30-45 minutes before he shot her.
The suspect, wearing a white formal shirt with long sleeves and riding a motorcycle, was captured by the two CCTV cameras facing the road -Gauri's house has two other cameras -- first at 3.27 pm.