‘Use of technology, scanning millions of call records and scientific analysis helped Special Investigation Team crack the sensational murder’
Mysuru: Cracking journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case took more than 9 months of telephone interceptions and physical trailing of suspects. Seconds before killing her on Sept. 5 last year, the attacker appears in the CCTV camera footage for a mere four seconds and the Police knew that he was a trained shooter.
This was the only clue the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had for the first three months of its investigation into the Gauri Lankesh murder case. Later, the SIT launched a massive surveillance programme, with the hope of finding a needle in a haystack.
The SIT collected call details from 15 days prior to the killing and the information was stored in a server built exclusively for the investigation. The team then heard calls, conversation by conversation, made by more than 100 telephone numbers. Their patience paid off. The SIT intercepted the call of a man with a tendency to boast, and after that, over the next nine months, the team identified the gang behind the murder.
The above details were provided by City Police Commissioner Dr. A. Subrahmanyeswara Rao, who went on to say that the cracking of the case can be called one of the best detections ever made by the State Police in the last three to four decades.
At an interaction with the students of journalism on ‘Media and Police’, organised by the Department of Studies in Mass Communication and Journalism at Manasagangothri last evening, the Commissioner said: “I have served in the Police Department for more than 18 years and looking at the Gauri case, I had my own apprehensions about detecting the case as there were many blind spots. The killers had planned the operation meticulously and had left no clues. The case was a challenge that was successfully handled by the SIT.”
Elaborating, he said that the efficient use of technology, forensic sciences, call and mobile tower location, connecting calls all helped the SIT to crack the case. “Investigators adapted certain investigation methods on the lines of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and assessed 10 million call details and also the footages of closed circuit TV cameras,” the Commissioner said.
Using a technique called “forensic gait analysis”, the Directorate of Forensic Sciences in Gujarat — which is equipped to analyse video footage of walking styles of people — provided a report that confirmed Parshuram Ashok Waghmare was the killer.
“The gait analysis was done by comparing video footage of the shooting that was captured on a CCTV camera located at Gauri’s home with the scene that was recreated and videographed with the suspected shooter (Waghmare) following his arrest,” he said.
The Commissioner also spoke about social media, role of media in democracy. “It is necessary for the Police and the media to maintain a cordial relationship. There is a kind of trend in the media to portray Police in poor light. This sends a wrong message to society,” he said and added media should portray the ills of society.
As part of the event, a documentary on traffic awareness prepared by the students was screened and a website that provides employment was opened.
University of Mysore Administrative Officer Srinivas, retired professor Usharani, Department Head Prof. Maheshchandraguru, Assistant Professor Dr. M.S. Sapna and Prof. Ramachandra were present.
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