Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Gauri Lankesh murder: SIT makes first arrest

After the murder Naveen Kumar had disappeared After the murder Naveen Kumar had disappeared
Charlie Simmons | 11 March, 2018, 01:56

Lankesh, a progressive activist and editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot down by unknown assailants outside her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar on 5 September a year ago. Virendre Ichalkaranjikar is also national president of Hindu Vidhinya Parishad.In October 2017, when Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti held a press conference in the city, Virendra also spoke and demanded an unbiased probe. "We are not sure yet if it's is Naveen Kumar on the bike doing recce that got captured on the CCTV, but we are sure that he was involved in finalising the attack and escape strategies", said SIT sources.

The arrest of Kumar in the Gauri Lanksh murder case comes two days after State Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the SIT would soon clear the air whether the police have picked up the right person in the case.

He also alleged that Naveen Kumar's arrest was "all politics" in the run-up to Karnataka Assembly polls.

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She was the most high-profile journalist murdered in years and her killing sparked protests across India, demanding immediate arrest of the assailants. 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. Kumar has been in SIT custody since March 2. The radical outfit has been linked in Maharashtra in the murder case of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.

Kumar's police custody has been extended until 13 March while the next hearing in the case will be on Tuesday (12 March).

Like Gauri, Kalburgi too was killed by a bike-borne gunman who shot and escaped without leaving a trace. It was at this time that the prosecutor handed over a sealed envelope to the court and elaborated that Naveen had been officially arrested by the SIT in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. "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.

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