Gauri murder case: Rishikesh Devdikar in 15-day custody

Gauri murder case: Rishikesh Devdikar in 15-day custody

Gauri Lankesh. (DH Photo)

The special investigating team probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh on Monday produced Rishikesh Devdikar, the 18th accused in the case, before the court.

The SIT took him into police custody for 15 days.

Devdikar is said to have been the mastermind behind Gauri’s killing on 5 September 2017.

The officials apprised the court that he has been the key accused in the case, and they wanted to interrogate Devdikar.

Following the argument, the court granted the police custody until January 27.

A senior police officer from the SIT said: "Devdikar was the key person who mobilised resources and trained the assailants on using the gun." Devdikar is said to be a member of the right-wing group. However, the organisation has clarified that he was not active in the cadre for almost a decade. He was arrested by the SIT sleuths on the evening of January 9.

Police officials part of the SIT revealed to DH that Devdikar was working as an assistant at a petrol bunk at Khatras in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand. "He was paid Rs 7,000 per month and was provided with accommodation by the owner of the petrol bunk. He had even changed the name from Rishikesh to Rajesh. He had reportedly lied to his manager that all his ID cards were stolen."

Devdikar, according to the officials, is a native of Aurangabad in Maharashtra and his family still lives in his native. However, since the murder of Gauri Lankesh, he was hiding in Katras, Jharkhand.

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