Man arrested for murder of journo Gauri Lankesh

Police standing guard at the house of Gauri Lankesh

Police standing guard at the house of Gauri Lankesh

According to police sources, Naveen Kumar had close links with several radical Hindu outfits and was reportedly angry with Lankesh for "insulting" Hindu gods and goddesses. Naveen's arrest is the first in the Lankesh murder case, and comes days after state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the SIT would soon clear the air about the suspect who had been taken into custody.

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DCP M N Anucheth, the examining officer for the situation, revealed to PTI that Naveen has been named as a charged and captured by the SIT for his claimed association in the Lankesh kill.

The Special Investigation Team, probing the murder, said yesterday it arrested alleged gunrunner K T Naveen Kumar, who was taken into police custody on 2 March for interrogation in connection with the case.

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Naveen, who is also called as Hotte Manja, was taken into custody by the SIT with regard to questioning on Gauri Lankesh murder case. The SIT had Naveen ride a bike in its custody.

The Editor of Lankesh Patrike Kannada magazine, Gauri Lankesh, was shot dead outside her residence in Bengaluru on September 5th a year ago. Despite denials by Sanatan Sanstha about its links to Naveen Kumar, a senior advocate linked to the Sanstha appeared in court on Friday on behalf of Kumar and assisted advocate Vedamurthy, who had earlier appeared for the accused. She edited the Kannada weekly Lankesh Patrike. The locals in the area are reported to have said that they have heard of Naveen and his organisation, but it was no different from other Hindu fringe groups that has sprung up over the last few years. "We are not even sure whether Praveen is his real name or not, but we have some definite clues, and efforts are on to track him down", a senior police officer said. The brazen attack on Lankesh was likened to the assassinations of rationalist thinkers-activists Narendra Dabholkar on 20 August 2013 in Pune, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govind Pansare on 16 February 2015 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, and M.M. Kalburgi on 30 August 2015 in Dharwad, Karnataka.

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The SIT has made a decision to transfer the case of Kumar's plot to eliminate K S Bhagawan to the Mysuru police.

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