SIT adds four more as accused in Gauri Lankesh murder case

SIT adds four more as accused in Gauri Lankesh murder case

Officials of the Special Investigation Team escort one of the accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

The Special Investigation Team probing senior journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder has added four suspects to the list of accused, and took custody of them till June 11.

Sujith Kumar alias Praveen (37) from Kappanahalli near Shikaripur in Shivamogga district; Amol Kale alias Bhaisaab from Maharashtra; and Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep (38) and Manohar Dundappa Yadave alias Manoj (29), both from Ratnapura village in Vijayapura district, were earlier arrested in a case of conspiracy to kill Kannada writer K S Bhagwan.

Public Prosecutor Venkatagiri told I Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V Jagadeesh that the accused were arrested on May 6 in the case relating to Bhagwan.

The police seized 43 mobile phones, five diaries and the blueprint of the route map leading to Gauri's house. In the diary, the accused have noted down the names of a few intellectuals, including Gauri and Bhagawan, residing both within and outside the state.

Since the police intend to take them to the other states, they have sought a 13-day custody of the accused. Hearing the submission, Magistrate Jagadeesh granted them 10 days' custody and ordered to present the accused before the court on June 11.

Two of the accused, Sujith and Manohar, told the court that the police tortured them in custody and showed their wounds. They also accused the police of not letting their relatives and lawyers meet them.

The magistrate clarified to the accused that they are not remanded in custody in the case registered in the Upparpet police station, but for Gauri's murder.

He gave instructions to the police to follow the Supreme Court guidelines in handling the accused in police custody and refrain from ill-treating them. He also told the accused to cooperate with the probe.

The four are believed to be close associates of K T Naveen Kumar, arrested for Gauri's murder, a case in which they are also regarded as suspects. The Upparpet police arrested them for possessing illegal arms.