SIT makes first arrest in Gauri Lankesh murder case
SIT makes first arrest in Gauri Lankesh murder case
KT Naveen Kumar has been taken into custody in connection with the murder of Gauri Lankesh
11 March, 2018, 01:58
According to police sources, Naveen Kumar had close links with several radical Hindu outfits and was reportedly angry with Lankesh for "insulting" Hindu gods and goddesses.
The killing of the journalist had drawn widespread condemnation and the Siddaramaiah government had come under flak for not making any headway in nabbing the culprits.
The magistrate considered the SIT's request and extended his police custody by five days till March 13.
The SIT also charged Kumar with plotting to assassinate Mysuru-based writer and rationalist K S Bhagawan.
The advocate, Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, who is head of the Sanstha-linked Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, was part of a press conference of Sanatan Sanstha and the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) on the Gauri Lankesh case in September previous year.
In an interview to Reuters in 2015, the members of the Sanatan Sanstha said they were preparing for the advent of a divine Hindu kingdom in India. Links between Kumar and the Sanstha emerged after evidence surfaced that Kumar had organised a meeting of the Sanstha and the HJS in his hometown, Maddur, last November. The locals in the area are reported to have said that they have heard of Naveen and his organisation, but it was no different from other Hindu fringe groups that has sprung up over the last few years.
Kumar's lawyer Vedamurthy argued that he had been in custody for 20 days, and there was no need to extend it. Kumar belongs from Birur town in Chikkamagaluru district, about 250 kilometres west of Bengaluru.
After going through the murder cases of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi, the bullets used to kill Gauri match only with the one used in the killing of Kalburgi.
The SIT has chose to transfer the case of Kumar's plot to eliminate K S Bhagawan to the Mysuru police. In SIT's custody, Kumar is said to have provided investigators inputs about the route taken by him to spy on Gauri Lankesh's home on the day of the murder and to show her home to the killers. "We are not even sure whether Praveen is his real name or not, but we have some definite clues, and efforts are on to track him down", a senior police officer said.
Bengaluru Police on Friday claimed a major breakthrough in the sensational murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh.
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