Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Gauri Lankesh murder: Hindu outfit man held, police uncover 'second plot'

Gauri Lankesh murder SIT takes a suspect into custody in Bengaluru Gauri Lankesh murder: Hindu outfit man held, police uncover 'second plot'
Melissa Porter | 04 March, 2018, 02:18

BENGALURU:Naveen Kumar, who is in the Special Inevstigation Team (SIT) custody in connection with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, is being grilled about his illegal weapon trade. On strong suspicion of his involvement in the killing of Gauri, the SIT on Friday took his custody for eight days and is interrogating him.

Lankesh, known as an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-right wing views, was shot dead at close range by unknown assailants at her home here on September 5 past year.

Kumar during conversations about guns and ammunition with some of his friends from Maddur, had referred to his links to the murder of Gauri Lankesh, reported Indian Express. The SIT is also checking his whereabouts till his arrest on February 18 after the murder of Gauri.

Sources said that the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths had first arrested Naveen based on the information provided by the SIT. "Kumar is connected to the case". The physique of the man is in close resemblance to that of Kumar, according to officials.

He was arrested by the CCB team from the Kempegowda bus stand in Majestic. SIT officials suspect Gauri's killer belonged to the same group that was involved in the murders of scholar M M Kalburgi, CPI leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur in 2015 and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in 2013.

CCTV footage showed that the man, who was wearing a helmet, had conducted a recce of the house hours before the crime.

He had reportedly told the friend that he has participated in a "big job" and asked him if he had been watching TV.

There are also reports that Naveen is a member of Hindutva outfit called the Hindu Yuva Sena and allegedly linked to the Sanatan Sanstha outfit and its affiliate the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. SIT sources said a man from Mysuru had filed a statement with a Bengaluru magistrate claiming that he too was part of the camp. The SIT had earlier arrested four others in this regard.