With no headway in Gauri case, SIT officers asked to focus on other work

Bengaluru top cop tells them to get back to work at respective police stations

With no headway in Gauri case, SIT officers asked to focus on other work

The state government has instructed police officers part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to report back to their original postings and parallelly monitor the probe into the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

The move comes more than six weeks after the journalist was gunned down on her doorstep in West Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar on September 5. The SIT has only released hazy sketches of two men who rode up to Gauri’s residence and one of them apparently shot her dead.

At a meeting on October 19, Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar reiterated that SIT officers must devote attention to cases at their respective police stations apart from investigating Lankesh’s murder.

The 21-member SIT led by Inspector General of Police B K Singh had started the investigation on September 6. A week later, 40 more senior police officers joined the team to fast-track the investigation. Thus, 61 senior officers along with lower-rung policemen have been working relentlessly from the CID’s Palace Road headquarters to solve the murder mystery.

A few senior police officials have taken leave to get back to their offices in Hubballi, Belagavi and Vijayapura as they need to submit charge sheets in various other cases. They need to attend court hearings, too.

A DySP-rank officer who did not want to be named said he had to file 11 charge sheets since he joined the SIT besides attending court hearings in a few other cases. He’s taken leave for five days.

“We have tasks other than investigating this (Gauri) case. We just have to supervise the investigation while our subordinates will go about the job,” a senior SIT officer said.

‘SIT hasn’t given up probe’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, reiterated that the SIT had not given up the probe into Gauri’s murder.

“Reports that the SIT has given up the Gauri murder case are baseless. The SIT is probing the case from various angles.

“The SIT has already gathered important leads,” he told journalists after attending the Police Commemoration Day celebrations at the KSRP ground in Koramangala. “Police cannot share the details of the investigation into important cases. The media should cooperate with the police in dealing with such cases.”

Siddaramaiah said disclosing the details of the Gauri case could affect the probe.

DH News Service

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