SIT: Gauri murder was planned for 5 yrs

Gauri Lankesh murder case: Sanatan Sanstha named in the chargesheet, Siddharth Varadarajan & others also on the hit-list
Last Updated 24 November 2018, 10:50 IST

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Saturday said the state government would soon take a call on banning the organisations involved in the killing of noted journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.

Speaking to reporters, Parameshwara said, "No discussions have taken place regarding the organisations involved in the crime, but we will take a decision on that shortly."

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh has named Sanatan Sanstha behind the killing in its additional charge sheet submitted to the court on Friday.

Four policemen carried a metal trunk containing the 9,235-page charge sheet to court on Friday evening and submitted it before principal city civil and sessions court Judge Shivashankar B Amarannavar. The SIT had filed the first charge sheet in the case in May.

Special Public Prosecutor in the case S Balan told DH that a crime syndicate under the Sanatan Sanstha was behind the murder and all the accused arrested in the case were members of this organisation.

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in front of her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on September 5, 2017.

He said the probe revealed that the accused were planning to eliminate Gauri Lankesh for five years.

They held meetings in different places and conducted a recce of different locations to kill Gauri. Even though K T Naveen Kumar was the first to be arrested in the case, the investigation revealed that Amol Kale was the mastermind as he assigned different roles to all the accused and monitored the killing. Kale has been named as first accused in the additional charge sheet, he added.

It is mentioned in the charge sheet that the accused had planned to kill ‘The Wire’ (web publication) editor Siddharth Varadarajan, journalist Antara Dev Sen, Chaman Lal, a professor in Hindi translation at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Punjabi playwright Atamjit Singh and 26 people from different states, apart from eight people in Karnataka.

Deputy Commissioner of Police M N Anucheth, who is also the chief investigation officer SIT, said that permission had been sought to investigate the case further.

The accused have been booked under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act, Arms Act and Section 302 of IPC. The trial in the case is likely to start in January 2019.

(Published 23 November 2018, 17:22 IST)

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