Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy says crucial leads found in Gauri Lankesh, MM Kalburgi murder cases

By FP Staff

Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy on Monday confirmed that investigating agencies probing the murder of prominent Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh and pro-left wing activist MM Kalburgi have made significant progress in both the cases.

Reddy who was addressing the media on Lankesh murder case also revealed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CID) probing Kalburgi's death has gathered leads that are crucial in solving the case.

However, when asked about the similarities between the two cases Reddy maintained that both the cases were being handled by two different investigation agencies and hence it would be inappropriate to jump to any conclusions. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing Lankesh's death while CID is investigating Kalburgi's death.

Reddy also claimed the SIT probing the killing of senior Kannada journalist has got clues and is in the process of gathering evidence.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

Lankesh, known to be an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-right wing views, was shot dead at close range by unknown assailants at her home on the night of 5 September.

"We have got clues, but we cannot tell things to the media for now because we should have correct evidence for the clues we have got," he told reporters at Chikkaballapura.

He said, "If there are no proper evidence when we file a charge sheet at the court, it won't stand. So we are trying to collect the evidence correctly... Our SIT is working towards gathering evidence."

The minister had on 9 September made similar claims about SIT having gathered "some clues" in connection with the case, as he expressed hope that the culprits would soon be arrested.

The Karnataka government, which has constituted the SIT headed by IGP (Intelligence) BK Singh, has announced a Rs 10 lakh reward to anyone who gives clues about the killing that led to outrage and protests.

As a political slugfest broke out over the killing, Lankesh's family had pleaded against giving a political colour to her murder.

The family had said the investigators should look into all angles behind Lankesh's killing, after reports emerged about a possible Naxal hand, other than the suspected involvement of right-wing extremists, the ideology Lankesh opposed.