Gauri Lankesh murder: Suspect KT Naveen Kumar arrested, sent to SIT custody

Bengaluru: Six months after the murder of journalist and social activist Gauri Lankesh, accused KT Naveen Kumar was arrested by the Karnataka Police on Friday.

KT Naveen Kumar, 37, who was apprehended by the Karnataka Special Investigation Team (SIT) for questioning earlier this month, has been named as the first accused in the murder case of the journalist.

Also read: Breakthrough in Gauri Lankesh murder case: SIT arrests 37-yr-old man

Bengaluru Magistrate Court on Friday sent KT Naveen Kumar to 5 days of SIT custody.

KT Naveen Kumar’s arrest on Friday is an indication that he is no more just a person of interest in the case and that there is scope for more details to unravel.

KT Naveen Kumar has been widely described as a person with links to right-wing groups.

BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje had recently accused the Siddaramaiah government of trying to pin the blame on a "Hindu youth". It was seen as a reference to Naveen Kumar.

A native of Mandya district about 100 km from Bengaluru, Naveen Kumar was caught by the organised crime wing of the state police's central crime branch on February 18, 2018. He was suspected to be on his way to sell the firearm.

Gauri Lankesh, 55, was shot down with a 7.65 mm country made pistol in the drive way of her home in west Bengaluru on the evening of September 5, 2017.

Lankesh, the Editor of “Lankesh Patrike”,  was shot dead by an unidentified man wearing a helmet while the suspect who rode the motorcycle was also not identitfied.

Investigations by the SIT has unearthed CCTV footage of a man conducting a recce of the home of the journalist a few hours before her killing. The physical structure of the man found conducting the recce in the CCTV footage has a close resemblance to that of Kumar.

The Karnataka government had set up the SIT to probe the journalist-activist’s killing.

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