The Karnataka Police on Wednesday charged four men in connection with the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh who had earlier been arrested for allegedly plotting to kill Kannada writer and critic KS Bhagwan in Mysore.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the Special Investigative Team (SIT) has recovered from them three diaries with handwritten notes about carrying out covert operations and a map which is suspected to be of Lankesh's house.
All the four are linked to Mangaluru-based right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliate Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and have been identified as Sujeet Kumar alias Praveen, 37, a resident of Karnataka; Amol Kale alias Bhaisab, 39, from Maharashtra; Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep, 39, of Goa; and Manohar Edave, 28, from Karnataka. The SIT will place them under arrest on Thursday after obtaining their custody, sources told The Indian Express.
Apparently, the four are also closely linked to KT Naveen Kumar who was the first arrest to be made in the Lankesh murder case on 2 March. Kumar is an activist of the Hindu Yuva Sena and had attended several meetings of the HJS and Sanatan Sanstha in 2017, states the report.
As per a report in The Wire, the SIT has filed a 650-page chargesheet in the Lankesh case on Wednesday naming only Kumar — for the time being — as an accused. Kumar is accused of locating her home for the eventual perpetrators and of providing information about her movements. The SIT has also provided details of Kumar's telephonic conversations with friends and family about his alleged links to the Lankesh murder.
Following his arrest, Kumar had told investigators that he received much of the instructions for the suspected killings from a Mangalore- based man named Sujeet Kumar who was later arrested.
The SIT is also extending the probe to find out if Kumar and his accomplices had any links with the murder of rationalists MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar in the past, Bangalore Mirror reported. But, the SIT has stated that it was yet to recover the firearm used in the killing even though Kumar has been booked for murder, criminal conspiracy and concealment of evidence under Section 25 (3) of the Arms Act, the Bangalore Mirror report says.
Gauri Lankesh, editor of the weekly Lankesh Patrike magazine, was shot dead by unidentified men at her residence in Bengaluru on 5 September. The state government had set up a SIT to probe the killing and had announced a Rs 10 lakh reward to anyone providing clues/information that could lead to the capture of her killers.
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Updated Date: May 31, 2018 07:50:59 IST