Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the 5 September murder of activist-journalist, Gauri Lankesh, on Monday said that it had produced two more people before the court in connection with the case.

The SIT said that the two accused, Amith Baddi and Ganesh Miskin, both 27 years old and from Hubli in Karnataka, were produced before the third additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) court on Monday and have been taken into police custody up to 6 August.

The two people were arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder taking the number of people in custody to at least nine.

The arrests coming at a time when the SIT and the Karnataka government is under increasing pressure to show some progress in a case that is likely connected to at least three other murders of noted rationalists since 2013.

The previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, under whose rule both Kalburgi and Lankesh were murdered, had said that they would soon solve the case that had grabbed national and international media attention, linking the killings to the rise of Hindutva after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stormed into power at the Centre in 2014.

The attack on Lankesh was likened to the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS, or Maharashtra Eradication of Superstition Committee) on 20 August 2013 in Pune, while he was out on his morning walk.

The Dabholkar killing was followed by the assassination of two more rationalist thinkers—senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govind Pansare on 16 February 2015 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra and M.M.Kalburgi on 30 August 2015 in Dharwad, Karnataka.

In June, SIT had filed a chargesheet against local gun runner, K.T. Naveen Kumar and Praveen, among others in the case.

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