Karnataka

Naveen got the bullets used to kill Gauri Lankesh: chargesheet

Journalist Gauri Lankesh

Journalist Gauri Lankesh  

He also guided the shooters to her place in Bengaluru: SIT

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh filed its first chargesheet in the case against K.T. Naveen Kumar, 37, who was arrested in March.

The chargesheet alleges that Naveen procured the bullets that were used to kill Gauri outside her house on the night of September 5, 2017. He also allegedly provided local logistical support to the shooters and guided them to her house and office in Bengaluru.

Though it does not name any organisation in the murder, the SIT alleges that Naveen was part of a bigger conspiracy and had been concealing key details from the police even after his arrest.

The SIT also made it clear that the probe into the murder plot was far from over, and this was only the first in a series of chargesheets that would be filed as the probe progressed.

Investigators have also sought the custody of Praveen, accused of targeting K.S. Bhagavan, a rationalist from Mysuru.

“There are several others involved in the conspiracy, including the people who shot at her that fateful night. A manhunt is on to identify and nab them. We have made some progress in the case with the city police arresting Praveen, who was key to the plot targeting Prof. Bhagavan and in the Gauri case as well,” said M.N. Anucheth, investigating officer, SIT.

Sources in SIT said that the 651-page charge sheet with 131 witness statements had a solid body of evidence pointing to Naveen’s role in the plot.

Call intercept recordings of Naveen speaking to his associates on the case, a statement by his friend Anil Kumar from Maddur on Naveen boasting about his involvement, his role in procurement of bullets used to kill Gauri are some of the irrefutable evidence against him, the sources said.

Naveen has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including sections 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life); 114 (an abettor being present when offence is committed); 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy; 35 (when such an act is criminal by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention) and Sections 3 and 25 of the Indian Arms Act.

Sources said that he had also been booked under sections 118 and 35 of the IPC for not cooperating with the police and concealing details even after his arrest. The accused had first given his consent for a narco analysis test and retracted his consent in Ahmedabad where he was taken for the test in April this year.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 11:05:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/naveen-got-the-bullets-used-to-kill-gauri-lankesh-chargesheet/article24039783.ece

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