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Gauri Lankesh was shot down by two assailants outside her home in Bengaluru on 5 September, 2017
Gauri Lankesh was shot down by two assailants outside her home in Bengaluru on 5 September, 2017

SIT to produce Gauri Lankesh murder accused before Bengaluru court on 13 Jan

  • Devdikar, arrested by the SIT on Thursday, is one of the accused in plotting and killing of Lankesh
  • Gauri Lankesh was shot down by two assailants outside her home in Bengaluru on 5 September, 2017

BENGALURU : A court in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, on Friday directed the special investigation team (SIT), probing Gauri Lankesh murder, to produce Rushikesh Devdikar, allegedly involved in the murder of the activist, before the concerned courts in Bengaluru on or before 13 January, senior police officials said.

Devdikar, arrested by the SIT on Thursday, is one of the accused in plotting and killing of Lankesh, a progressive activist and editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, who was shot down by two assailants outside her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru on 5 September, 2017. Lankesh was a fierce critic of the right wing, which the police believe was the main reason for her murder.

“He has been produced and we have got a transit warrant to produce him on or before January 13 before the relevant court in Bengaluru," a senior police official said, requesting not to be named. “He (Devdikar) was basically involved in the conspiracy and planning of the (Lankesh) murder."

According to investigation officials, Devdikar was working in a bookshop in Dhanbad selling publications of controversial Hindu right wing organisation, Sanathan Sanstha. Devdikar is allegedly part of a larger underground organisation that identifies targets it wants to eliminate.

“In the underground organisation, formed to kill personalities, he used to work as the main recruiter for new members in Maharashtra," the official added.

Lankesh’s murder was likened to the killings of three other rationalists -- Narendra Dabholkar, founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS, or Maharashtra Eradication of Superstition Committee) on 20 August, 2013 in Pune, senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govind Pansare on 16 February, 2015 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, and rationalist thinker MM Kalburgi on 30 August, 2015, in Dharwad, Karnataka.

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