Gauri murder: Suspect's wife claims husband is innocent

Gauri murder: Suspect's wife claims husband is innocent

Gayatri Kurne, wife of Gauri Lankesh murder suspect Bharat Kurne addresses a press meet claiming her husband is innocent. Bharat's mother Rekha Kurne is also seen next to her. DH photo.

Gayatri Kurne, wife of Bharat Jayant Kurne, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, claimed that her husband was innocent.

“My husband was arrested because he participated actively in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti programme. The SIT is targetting him wrongly," Gayatri claimed at a media conference, in Belagavi on Thursday.  

Gayatri maintained that her husband Bharat was not associated with any right-wing organisation. 

"We belong to the Maratha community and are proud to be Hindu. Bharat actively participated in the Shivaji Jayanti festivities at Raigad and other places in Maharashtra," she stated. 

SIT detained Bharat, later took him to Bengaluru and booked him in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. "Since then, SIT is harassing us," Gayatri alleged.  

"Bharat is sick and needs medical care. His health has deteriorated due to the harassment," Gayatri pled.

Gayatri said, that she and Bharath were married for ten years and have two girl children aged seven and five. "In all these years, we never discussed Gauri Lankesh. We were not aware of who she really was. We don't speak Kannada. How can we know Kannada journalists?" she questioned. 

“The SIT has alleged that people accused in Gauri Lankesh murder were in touch with Bharat over phone. My husband is a vegetable trader and also runs a resort at Chikale village in Khanapur. Tourists and customers call him. Those accused in the case must have met him for business,” Gayatri stated.

When Gauri Lankesh was murdered, Bharat was at home and being treated for indigestion. He was resting as per doctor's advice and could not move around, Gayatri stated.

Bharat’s mother Rekha Kurne too, alleged that the SIT was harassing Bharat's family. She said that Bharat's arrest had affected his children's education.

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