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Gauri Lankesh murder case: Naveen taken into custody for questioning

Gauri Lankesh murder

Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team probing senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh’s murder case today took into custody a man for interrogation in connection with the sensational killing last year.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru West) M N Anucheth, the investigating officer in the case, said T Naveen Kumar alias Hotte Manja, already in judicial remand in connection with another case, was taken into custody for eight days.

He, however, declined to divulge any further information.

According to reports, Naveen was caught in possession of .32 caliber gun with 15 live bullets while he was trying to sell it, near Cottonpet.

The reports further said that the investigators believe that Naveen was the one who had driven the killer to the crime scene on the night of Gauri Lankesh’s murder. Sources said, “We’ve video footage of a man riding the bike near Gauri’s place, on September 3 and 5, for what’s clearly a recce. He’s wearing a full-face helmet but his nose is visible. We recreated the scene with Naveen on a similar bike. Everything – from his posture on the bike to the way he rides to the nose – perfectly matches with CCTV footage. We’re waiting for forensic confirmation of our recreated images before proceeding against him.”

Naveen is a prominent leader of the Hindu Yuva Sena, say Kannada media reports.

Lankesh (55), known as an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-right wing views, was shot dead at close range by unknown assailants at her home here on September 5 last year.

Police said Kumar was arrested on February 19 on charges of illegally possessing five bullets.

A case under the Arms Act was registered against him and he was remanded to judicial custody by a court.

Based on information provided by him earlier, police wanted to question him further and moved the court which granted eight days police custody today.

Police sources said his looks matched with one of the sketches of the suspect and the photograph developed from a CCTV footage obtained from Lankesh’s residence.

The killing of Lankesh drew widespread condemnation.

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