BENGALURU: The special investigation team (SIT) probing the journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case has intensified its search for the three persons who allegedly asked suspected shooter Parashuram Waghmare to kill her.
The SIT, during Waghmare’s interrogation, learnt that apart from seeing them in person, he had no other details about them. Therefore, based on the descriptions given by him, the SIT came up with six sketches of the three suspects.
Sources in the SIT said they were trying to gather more information about them.
“We are trying to trace them by gathering information from various channels. As Waghmare told us that the country-made pistol was given by one of them and also collected by the same person after killing Gauri Lankesh, we are hoping that the weapon can be recovered once they are caught. Thus, we are making all-out efforts to nab them,” an official said.
As part of the search operation, SIT teams have visited many places, especially, the bordering districts of Karnataka-Maharashtra. “With no information available about the three persons, it has been hard to collect information merely based on the sketches. However, we are hopeful of taking the case to its logical end once they are caught,” the official added.
Waghmare, who was allegedly trained in shooting by the suspected mastermind Amol Kale and Amit Degwekar, was taken to several places including Belagavi as part of the probe. His police custody will end next week and the SIT does not plan to seek extension of his custody.
Further, the SIT will also move the court seeking permission to subject the accused persons — Kale, Degwekar, Sujith Kumar alias Praveen and Manohar Edave — to lie detector and narco analysis tests, as they had not revealed much during the police interrogation.
NAVEEN’S BAIL PLEA ADJOUNRED
The 70th City Civil and Sessions court, which heard accused KT Naveen Kumar’s bail petition on Thursday, adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.
The public prosecutor, who filed objections against granting bail to the accused, said the accused had committed a grave offence and it will not be appropriate if he was granted bail as the investigations were not yet complete and other accused were in jail. “Also, if the accused is granted bail, it will help the other accused in the case to escape,” he said.
A Vedamurthy, the counsel for Naveen Kumar, said the SIT had framed his client based on just three statements. “The SIT has not even mentioned the role played by Naveen Kumar in its chargesheet, which explains that even the SIT does not have a clear picture in the case. Based on the statement given by three of his friends, the SIT has named Naveen as accused in the case. His friends had also stated that they had seen the suspects in Maddur. There are four suspects in judicial custody but their identification parade is not yet conducted. The SIT officials have also mentioned that Naveen had procured bullets seven years ago, but have failed to mention the motive behind it,” Vedamurthy argued, before the judge adjourned the hearing till June 26.