Gauri Lankesh Murder: Four More Arrested, SIT files 1st charge sheet .
Eight months after the cold-blooded murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, the Special Investigation Team probing the murder filed a chargesheet in the 3rd ACMM court on Wednesday, 30 May.
The Special Investigation Team probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh today filed its first charge sheet in the sensational case, naming alleged gunrunner and Hindutva activist T Naveen Kumar as an accused.
The 650-page charge sheet filed before the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate details the role of Naveen Kumar alone as an accomplice in the murder, which had triggered a nationwide outrage.
The charge sheet contains the statement of about 131 witnesses.
The SIT has submitted that it would submit more documents relating to the case in future.
Lankesh, 55, known for her left leaning and strong anti-Hindutva views, was shot dead in front of her house here on September five last year.
Naveen Kumar was arrested for alleged illegal possession of firearm and ammunition on February 18. During the probe, the SIT claimed, it had found evidence of his involvement in the killing of Lankesh, and also arrested him in that case.The Arms Act case against Naveen Kumar would be heard by a city court tomorrow.
Naveen Kumar, hailing from Maddur in Mandya district, was arrested with a firearm and bullets when he was waiting for a client at Majestic bus stand here.
Sources claimed that he had not only supplied firearms to the assassins of Lankesh but also conducted a recce for almost 1 year of the area around her residence and provided them vital inputs about her.He is also suspected to have ferried the prime accused to a place close to Lankesh’s house.
SIT officer told,Naveen Kumar had named a man from Shivamogga Praveen Kumar, arrested by the city police in connection with an illegal arms case in May, in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.The SIT has taken him into custody with four more people suspected of involvement in Lankesh’s killing he added.
The arrested accused are identified as Amol Kale alias Bhaisab (39) an activist of the HJS from Maharashtra, Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep (39) a Sanatan Sanstha activist and resident of Goa, Manohar Edave (28) a resident of Vijayapura in Karnataka, and Sujeet Kumar alias Praveen (37), a HJS and Sanatan Sanstha activist from Mangaluru. The accused are also associated with K.T. Naveen Kumar (37), an activist of the Hindu Yuva Sena, who attended several meetings of the HJS and Sanatan Sanstha in 2017, and was arrested in March 2018 in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.
The four arrested last week for plotting to murder Bhagwan are linked to the radical right-wing outfit Sanathan Sanstha.
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.
Naveen has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including sections 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life); 114 (an abettor being present when offence is committed); 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy; 35 (when such an act is criminal by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention) and Sections 3 and 25 of the Indian Arms Act.
IT is said that he had also been booked under sections 118 and 35 of the IPC for not cooperating with the police and concealing details even after his arrest. The accused had first given his consent for a narco analysis test and retracted his consent in Ahmedabad where he was taken for the test in April this year.
Their involvement in Gauri Lankesh case is very much likely. That’s why we have taken them into custody and are interrogating them closely SIT officer told reporters.