Arrest of man carrying bullets triggers rumours on Gauri case

Gauri Lankesh

Gauri Lankesh  

The accused had founded the Hindu Yuva Sene in 2015

The arrest of a right wing activist for illegal possession of ammunition triggered reports on Friday that the Karnataka police had cracked the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

However, sources in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the government told The Hindu that the arrest was made in an unrelated case.

Acting on a tip-off, sleuths from the Organised Crime Wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB), Bengaluru police, arrested K.T. Naveen Kumar, 37, hailing from Maddur and a resident of Birur in Chikkamagaluru district, in the Upparpete police limits on Sunday.

The police recovered five bullets of a .32 revolver from his backpack. A case under the Arms Act was booked at the Upparpete police station and, on Monday, the CCB sleuths got nine-day custody of the accused.

Ammunition trail

The police team probing the case took the accused to Birur and recovered 10 more live bullets.

A senior officer said, “The accused often boasted of possessing arms and ammunition, but has no record of illegal arms trade. He is known to harbour extreme right wing sympathies, and founded the Hindu Yuva Sene in 2015.” M.N. Anucheth, Investigating Officer, Special Investigation Team, clarified that the arrest was not made in connection with the Gauri Lankesh case and the SIT is yet to question the accused.

Not on SIT radar

According to an officer, “The SIT has been questioning illegal arm traders. We may question Naveen as well. But he was not on our radar.”

In the past, the arrest of another arms dealer and sharp shooter, Tahir, following a probe by the SIT had triggered similar reports of the Gauri Lankesh case being solved.

Tahir’s arrest led the police to uncovering an alleged supari hit given by journalist Ravi Belagere. But the case was unrelated to the murder of Gauri Lankesh.

Arrest not made in connection with Gauri Lankesh case and SIT is yet to question the accused

M.N. Anucheth

SIT officer

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