BENGALURU: The confession of K T Naveen Kumar, the accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, reveals that Praveen alias Suchith Kumar and others had played a major role in the murder and he was assigned to keep a watch on Prof K S Bhagwan.
In the statement, he has explained how he was inclined towards Hindutva ideologies and his activities as a member of Bajrang Dal and Sri Rama Sena. He had also founded Hindu Yuva Sena in Maddur and was organising people to attend religious programmes. He had attended a conference organised by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti in Goa in June 2017 where he had made a speech declaring that “we have to take up arms to save Hindu religion”. Many were impressed with his speech and Mohan Gowda, a leader of a pro-Hindu outfit, had praised him, police claimed.
“When I told him (Mohan Gowda) that I have gun and bullet for the purpose, he told me that people with similar ideology will come in contact with me in the coming days. After a few days, Praveen contacted me and he had stayed in my house in Birur twice, once before Gauri’s murder and again after the incident.
During the first visit, he had taken 1-2 bullets from me saying that he would check them,” Naveen stated.
“After attending a religious meeting in Bengaluru on August 20, Praveen had discussed with me about finishing off Gauri as she was making derogatory statements against Hindu religion. He said his boys were ready and would finish the job once I supply a gun and bullets. I tried to procure them but was not successful. I was at Urva Ashram in Mangaluru on September 6 and I came to know about Gauri’s murder through TV and newspapers.”
“He again asked for my help for another assignment. In November, Praveen asked me come to Belagavi where I met Sanjay Bansare and another person. They discussed about killing K S Bhagwan and asked me to supply arms. They also asked me to observe his movements. Later, I procured a pistol for the purpose,” Naveen said in the statement.