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Gauri Lankesh was shot down by unknown assailants outside her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar on 5 September last year. Photo: HT
Gauri Lankesh was shot down by unknown assailants outside her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar on 5 September last year. Photo: HT

Gauri Lankesh murder probe: SIT arrests local gun supplier for questioning

SIT formed to probe murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh arrests local gun supplier K.T. Naveen Kumar for questioning

Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh on Friday took into custody a local gun supplier for questioning, according to a senior police official directly involved in the high-profile case.

“K.T. Naveen Kumar has been taken into police custody by the SIT for questioning," the chief investigation officer of the SIT said on Friday.

Though the SIT has questioned hundreds of people and recorded thousands of statements, Kumar’s arrest is possibly the first major breakthrough. The SIT was formed in September last year to probe the killing.

Lankesh, a progressive activist and editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot down by unknown assailants outside her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar on 5 September last year.

Her killing led to outrage in many sections of the society who believed that she was killed due to her views against right-wing ideology. However, the motive behind the case is yet to be established by the SIT, which is probing a family angle too.

Though the SIT has released sketches of possible suspects, the case had made little progress and the delay was going against the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka, which is looking to retain power in assembly elections due later this year.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had used the killing to target the Congress over law and order.

The brazen attack on Lankesh was likened to the assassinations of rationalist thinkers-activists Narendra Dabholkar on 20 August 2013 in Pune, 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.

Though Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy had promised to solve the case at the earliest, the Congress has come under heavy fire for the slow progress of the investigation on the murders of Lankesh and Kalburgi.

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