Karnataka Home Minister: Gauri Lankesh's killers will be revealed soon
Two months after the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, an SIT is nearing the end of its investigation and will reveal its findings in a few weeks, Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said. The team has already zeroed in on four suspects and the killers will "100% be caught", Reddy assured. Here's what all happened after Lankesh's murder.
How the murder unfolded
On September 5, senior journalist, activist and dissenter Gauri Lankesh stopped her car in front of her house, got down and entered the premises through a small gate. As she was opening a bigger gate, a man entered and fired at her. She tried to run, but he chased her and shot several more times. The case was eventually handed over to an SIT.
What do we know about the assailant/s?
Two suspects are aged 25-35, police later said. They were from outside Bengaluru and had stayed in the city for about a week and studied her home. Significantly, the pistol used in her murder was found to be similar to the ones used to shoot scholars MM Kalburgi (2015), Narendra Dabholkar (2013) and Govind Pansare (2015). Police ruled out professional career as a motive.
The link to Hindu right-wing groups
Five names associated to the right-wing Sanatan Sanstha emerged as key suspects. Four of them have Interpol Red Notices against them for their alleged involvement in earlier crimes. However, the Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti claimed neither was involved. Sanjiv Panalekar, Hindu Vidhidyana Parishad secretary, said SIT should instead investigate "Naxalism, family dispute, property dispute, fights, and source of funding for her activities".
Lankesh murder probe helped SIT unearth illegal arms rackets
While probing the 7.65 mm countrymade pistol used in Lankesh's murder, the SIT surveyed illegal arms rackets in the area: they knew material had been sourced from Vijayapura. It has till now arrested 12 people and seized 20 countrymade guns and 49 rounds of ammunition.