The Supreme Court on Tuesday said any one investigating agency can probe if there is a “common thread” between the murders of social activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, PTI reported.

The court said there appears to be a link between the murders of Lankesh and Kalburgi after perusing the status report submitted by the Karnataka Police. The police informed the court that it will file a chargesheet in the Kalburgi murder case in three months.

The Supreme Court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to explain to it by the first week of January why it should not investigate all the four cases if there appears to be a link among all the murders. The bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and Navin Sinha asked the Maharashtra government’s counsel about the status of the investigation into the Pansare murder case. The government informed the bench that the case was pending before the Kolhapur trial court.

Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013 in Pune. So far, the CBI has arrested six persons in connection with the murder. Kalburgi was killed in Dharwad in Karnataka in August 2015. The same year, Pansare was attacked by two unidentified gunmen on his way home from a morning walk in Kolhapur. In September 2015, Pansare’s murder was linked to the Sanatan Sanstha, when the police arrested one of its members, Sameer Gaikwad, in connection with the case.

A forensic report submitted by the investigators to a Bengaluru court earlier had said the same gun was used to kill Kalburgi and Lankesh, who was killed in September 2017.