Gauri Lankesh murder: 12th accused remanded to police custody

BENGALURU: The Third Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court on Monday remanded Bharat Kurne, one of the accused arrested in connection with the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, to eight-day police custody. The court, after hearing prosecutor and defence lawyers on Friday, reserved the order for Monday on the custody of Kurne alias Tamatar (37), a resident of Sambhaji Galli in Belagavi who runs a dhaba and also sells vegetables. Kurne will be in police custody till August 20.

Kurne who was arrested on August 9 is the 12th accused arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the murder of Gauri. Though the SIT had demanded 14-day custody of the accused, the defence lawyer argued that the accused should not be kept in police custody for such a long time as he can be subjected to torture just like the other accused in the case. The court, however, remanded the accused to police custody as the SIT had claimed that accused, who was actively involved in the murder conspiracy, is yet to be questioned.

The SIT told the court that Bharath not only took part in conspiracy meetings held in his room in Shastri Nagar in  Belagavi, but also allowed other accused to stay in the room. He had provided his land in Khanapur to other accused to practice shooting. The SIT may take the Kurne’s custody on Tuesday and take him to Pune, Goa, Belagavi and Madikeri as part of the probe. He is now in Parappana Agrahara Central Prison.

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