MLC's personal assistant in Madikeri held in Gauri case

Gauri Lankesh.

Rajesh D Bangera, a personal assistant to MLC Veena Achaiah from Kodagu district was arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

The SIT sleuths arrested him on July 23. Bangera was remanded in 13-day judicial custody on Wednesday.

Bangera, who was appointed as PA two years ago by the district administration, was also working as a second division assistant in the department of public instruction and served as an assistant to the ZP president in the past.

Rajesh worked in the MLC’s office at the ZP building in Old Fort in Madikeri.

The local police had no information on the arrest. A staffer at the MLC’s office said, “On July 23, the MLC’s office was not opened even after 12 noon. The people informed the MLC about it. Later, I opened the door. We did not have any information about Bangera. I learnt about his arrest only after watching TV on Tuesday night.”

Another office staffer said, “Bangera was regular to the office. There was nothing suspicious about him. He did not discuss any issue in the office and was good at work.”

Karate expert

A karate expert, he would go for training in his free time after informing the office.

A native of Palooru in Bettageri gram panchayat in Madikeri, Bangera also owns a coffee plantation. According to villagers, his family had migrated to Palooru from Dakshina Kannada district several years ago.

According to one of his colleagues in the education department, Rajesh generally kept to himself. “He never used to accompany us for tea or lunch and was quiet in the office. We lost contact with him after he was appointed as an assistant to the ZP president four years ago.”

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