Gauri Lankesh murder case: SIT makes first arrest

Police claim they averted attack on Prof. Bhagwan with arrest of K.T. Naveen Kumar

March 10, 2018 12:38 am | Updated 12:40 am IST - Bengaluru

K.T. Naveen Kumar has been arrested by the Special Investigation Team probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.

K.T. Naveen Kumar has been arrested by the Special Investigation Team probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Gauri Lankesh murder made its first arrest in the case on Friday. K.T. Naveen Kumar, 37, of Maddur and founder of the Hindu Yuva Sene, was arrested and named as the first accused.

The SIT named Praveen, yet to be arrested, as the second accused. The arrest comes six months after the murder.

Naveen Kumar was arrested in February in an illegal arms case . The SIT took him into custody on March 2 suspecting his involvement in the killing.

It informed a city court on Friday that his interrogation had established his role in the conspiracy.

The court then remanded him to further five days in SIT custody, ending on March 13.

Police also claimed Naveen was part of a conspiracy to kill Mysuru-based rationalist Prof. K.S. Bhagwan, which they said was being plotted along the lines of Lankesh’s killing. Police claimed the murder was averted by his arrest.

Though the police gave little details of the exact nature of the role of Naveen Kumar and Praveen, M.N. Anucheth, Investigating Officer, SIT, said they “aided and assisted the furtherance of the conspiracy.” The SIT also submitted a sealed cover to Judge V. Prakash, with details of the “larger conspiracy” and a list of suspects, both from the State and Maharashtra.

The SIT said Naveen knew more than what he was revealing and sought permission to conduct a host of neuro-psychological tests on the accused. The judge reserved orders in the matter and posted it to March 15.

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