Karnataka Police arrests two arms dealers, may have connection to Gauri Lankesh murder case

Karnataka Police arrested an two arms dealers reportedly in connection with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

People take part in a candle light vigil for Gauri Lankesh in New Delhi. PTI

People take part in a candle light vigil for Gauri Lankesh in New Delhi. PTI

According to News18, 31-year-old Tahir Hussain supplied a 7.65 mm bore country-made type gun to Shashidar Mundewadi, a sharpshooter who is an arms dealer as well. The two accused were arrested after the Central Crime Record Bureau (CCRB) learned of this gun deal, which happens to be the same make as the one used to kill Lankesh.

The News18 report adds that Shashidar was also arrested as he was allegedly preparing for a similar attack, which had allegedly been plotted by Kannada tabloid editor Ravi Belegere.

According to India Today, Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that authorities were waiting for more details before announcing any connection between the Gauri Lankesh murder case and the two arms dealers apprehended by the city crime branch. "We are waiting for a ballistics report to connect Gauri's case with the two accused, Tahir and Sashidhar," Reddy said.

Gauri Lankesh was fatally shot at close range by unknown attackers at her residence in Bengaluru on 5 September. Lankesh, a well-known critic of the right wing, took three bullets to her chest after four unknown assailants fired seven rounds at her in her home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. The murder of the 55-year-old journalist, who was the editor of the Kannada weekly tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, sparked outrage and nationwide protests.

Following these protests, the Karnataka government constituted a 150-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to pursue the case and also announced Rs 10 lakh reward for anyone who provides clues about the killing of the senior journalist or the perpetrators of the crime.

The SIT probing the murder case had recently released three sketches of two persons suspected to be her killers. Ramalinga Reddy had earlier said that the investigation team had got "some clues" on the killers and knows who is behind the crime but is waiting to gather more concrete evidence. Whether the arrests are in relation to these clues is yet to be revealed.

With inputs from agencies 

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Updated Date: Dec 08, 2017 19:57:06 IST

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