Gauri Lankesh murder case: SIT files first chargesheet, close to getting custody of second accused

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the Gauri Lankesh murder case filed the first chargesheet and is close to getting custody of the second accused Praveen, according to several media reports.

This development comes following the arrest of four people in connection with a plot to kill KS Bhagwan. According to ANI, the SIT mentioned 131 statements, including that of Forensic Science Laboratory officers and accused KT Naveen and Praveen, in the chargesheet.

The four arrested last week for plotting to murder Bhagwan are linked to the radical right-wing outfit Sanathan Sanstha. According to The Indian Express, the accused have been identified as Amol Kale alias Bhaisab from Maharashtra; Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep from Goa; Manohar Edave of Vijayapura in Karnataka; and Sujeet Kumar alias Praveen from Mangalore.

 Gauri Lankesh murder case: SIT files first chargesheet, close to getting custody of second accused

Gauri Lankesh's murder had prompted widespread protests across India. PTI

The four also are linked to KT Naveen Kumar, a Hindu Yuva Sena activist who was arrested in March in connection with the Gauri Lankesh murder case. Kumar was taken into custody by the SIT for questioning after he was booked by the Crime Branch on 19 February under the Arms Act for illegal possession of 15 bullets of a revolver.

In a statement given to police, Naveen confessed to the crime and said he had an accomplice named Praveen.

Police officials confirmed to The Hindu that Praveen, who was arrested in Bhagwan's case, is the same  individual who allegedly helped Naveen. Quoting sources, The Hindu further reported that the investigating team will seek Praveen's custody on Wednesday.

According to The Times of India, the SIT's preliminary chargesheet only mentioned Naveen's role in assisting the killers and did not mention any details about the killers.

The SIT is expected to charge Praveen in a supplementary chargesheet after they take him into custody. “We will be requesting the court to grant us custody of Praveen for further probe about his involvement in the crime in the coming days,” SIT officer MN Anucheth was quoted as saying by Bangalore Mirror.

Lankesh, who was the editor of the weekly Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead by unidentified men at her residence in Bengaluru on 5 September. Protests erupted across Karnataka to condemn her killing.

The state government set up the SIT to probe the killing. The Karnataka government 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 30, 2018 15:27:12 IST