Gauri probe: Many SIT officials return to routine work

Gauri Lankesh

Gauri Lankesh  

They will come back soon after attending regular duties, says DCP

The daily slog of routine crime and mounting paperwork is taking a toll on the 61-member Special Investigation Team, which was formed over a month ago to probe the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.

A week after SIT released sketches of two suspects, many of the officials working on the case have gone back to attend to routine work, said a source who is part of the team. “This decision was taken at a recent meeting held by city Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar, who reiterated that officers should also focus on cases in their respective jurisdictions, besides investigating Gauri Lankesh’s murder,” said the source.

Senior police officers in the SIT team defended the move, saying that as they had “clear leads”, this much manpower was no longer required. “Out investigation is very much active and we are working on leads,” said a senior police officer.

DCP M.N. Anucheth confirmed the move. “SIT is functioning normally and working on the leads. However, there are some regular duties that officers need to attend to for which they had gone, but will come back soon,” he said.

When the investigation was handed over to SIT on September 6, 21 police officers, led by IGP B.K. Singh started probing the case. A week later, with few leads and growing pressure, another 40 senior police officers were added the to team to fast-track the investigation. “We had a total of 61 senior police officers along with their subordinates who were working relentlessly on the case from the CID headquarters in Bengaluru. Now that we have vital information, more than half of the team will return to routine work. However, they will also assist SIT investigation,” said another senior officer.

A few senior police officials have taken leave to get back to their jurisdictions in other parts of Karnataka such as Hubballi, Belagavi, and Bijapur. “Many police officers who joined SIT based on the government directions have pending cases. There are charge sheets to be filed and their presence is required in court hearings. Routine work was getting hampered. They will be summoned back” the senior police officer added.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 12:15:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/gauri-probe-many-sit-officials-return-to-routine-work/article19898380.ece

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