Police in Karnataka investigating the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh appears to have made a significant breakthrough the case. The special police team is now questioning KT Naveen Kumar as an accused of Lankesh’s murder.
37-year-old Kumar was picked by the special police team last month for possession of live bullets and weapons in Bengaluru. Local media reports said that Kumar had links with right-wing Hindutva group Hindu Yuva Sena. Lankesh was a known critic of right-wing Hindutva ideology before she was killed by two bike-borne assailants, who had hidden their faces with helmets.
The SIT has reportedly informed a magistrate court in Bengaluru that it had found evidence of Kumar’s involvement in the Gauri Lankesh murder during the investigation into the illegal arms case for which he was originally arrested.
A report by Indian Express said that when Kumar was produced before the court of an additional chief metropolitan magistrate, the SIT gave the court a sealed copy of a confession statement given by him about his involvement in the murder. An assistant public prosecutor, Nirmala Rani, presented a remand plea to the court seeking police custody of Kumar for eight days in order to unearth the larger conspiracy and materials used in the crime, the paper added.
The Special Investigation Team investigating the murder of Lankesh had released three sketches of two persons suspected to be her killers in October last year.
Lankesh, 55, editor of Kannada weekly tabloid “Gauri Lankesh Patrike” was shot dead outside her house in the city’s southwest suburb on the night of 5 September as she tried to open the gate of her house. Her murder had caused huge international outrage. Journalists across India had staged angry protests against yet another killing of a journalist.
Police had earlier said that five members of militant Hindutva outfit, Sanatan Sanstha, were behind Lankesh’s murder.