Man arrested in connection with Gauri Lankesh's murder
Six months after Gauri Lankesh was killed outside her house in Bengaluru, police have arrested a man linked with the murder that made headline across the globe. Held last week for trafficking arms, KT Naveen Kumar reportedly revealed his role in killing Lankesh during interrogation. However, police say Kumar is not the main accused, who is still unidentified. Read on for more.
How did KT Naveen Kumar help kill Lankesh?
The 37-year-old Kumar is a member of radical Hindutva groups Hindu Yuva Sena and Goa-based Sanatan Sanstha, reported Indian Express. So far, Kumar and his associate Praveen, who is still at large, have been accused of involvement in Lankesh's murder. According to the SIT, the duo had scoped out Lankesh's home and provided relevant details to the unidentified assailant, who fatally shot her.
Kumar to be taken to Goa, Belgaum for further investigation
Kumar was produced before a Bengaluru court on Friday at the end of eight-day police custody. The court has extended his custody for another five days so that he be taken to Goa and Belgaum, where he allegedly hatched Lankesh's murder. Since Kumar has been changing statements, the investigators intend to put him through forensic tests including lie detector, voice sampling, brain-mapping and narco-analysis.
Who was Gauri Lankesh?
Gauri Lankesh was the daughter of famous poet-turned journalist P Lankesh. A prominent name in Karnataka, she was a fearless anti-establishment dissenter-activist, known for her weekly Kannada tabloid 'Gauri Lankesh Patrike'. The tabloid did not take any advertisements, and was known for its vocal criticism of communal violence, the caste system, and right-wing Hindutva politics.
How was she killed?
On the evening of September 5 last year, a man on a motorcycle shot several times at Lankesh's head and chest as she was entering her house after returning from work. He was wearing a helmet and was accompanied by another man. According to police, the two are reportedly aged between 25-35 years and are not Bengaluru residents.
Lankesh's murder linked to the recent deaths of other scholars?
Though the police has ruled out Lankesh's professional work and dissenting views as a motive behind her murder, the pistol fired at her was found to be similar to those used to shoot scholars MM Kalburgi (2015), Narendra Dabholkar (2013) and Govind Pansare (2015).