Gauri Lankesh probe leads to arrest of four for threat to retired professor K S Bhagwan

In its hunt for the killers of journalist Gauri Lankesh, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested four persons who had allegedly issued death threats to retired professor K S Bhagwan of Mysuru.

Published: 30th May 2018 05:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2018 08:30 AM   |  A+A-

Murdered senior journalist Gauri Lankesh (File photo)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: In its hunt for the killers of journalist Gauri Lankesh, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested four persons who had allegedly issued death threats to retired professor K S Bhagwan of Mysuru in 2015.

The accused have been identified as Praveen alias Sujith Kumar, Amul Kale, Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep Mahajan and Manohar Dundappa Yavade. While Kale and Degwekar hail from Maharashtra, Yavade is a native of Vijayapura.

Police said they first arrested Praveen based on the information provided by K T Naveen Kumar who had been arrested earlier in the Gauri murder case.

“Questioning of Praveen led to the arrest of three others from Davangere recently. They were produced before a court and we have taken them into custody,” a police officer said.

Though SIT’s focus was on the investigation of their role in Gauri’s murder, the four people reportedly confessed to their involvement in sending a threat letter to Prof Bhagwan on September 9, 2015. The rationalist’s family had received the letter which stated, “We have finished three people (rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi). Next is your turn. No police protection will help you. Count your days”. The letter had been received just a few days after Kalburgi had been gunned down in Dharwad, pressing the police to step up security to Prof Bhagwan.  

Kumar had been arrested after his telephonic interceptions revealed his conspiracy to attack Prof Bhagwan. Now, the SIT is questioning the four accused in connection with both the cases, primarily regarding their role in Gauri’s murder. The SIT will submit a charge-sheet to a city court on Wednesday in connection with Gauri’s murder, sources said.

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