Police make tenth arrest in Gauri murder case

This is the fourth arrest in the last one week; SIT grills members of Hindu groups across state.

Published: 25th July 2018 06:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2018 06:51 AM   |  A+A-

Members of Kranti Sena staging a protest in Hubballi on Tuesday | D Hemanth

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The special investigation team (SIT) probing journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder has arrested a 50-year-old man in connection with the case, taking the total number to 10. The arrested person is Rajesh D Bangera, a resident of Madikeri. He is said to be a government employee, but there was no official confirmation about it.

Chief Investigation Officer of the SIT, Deputy Commissioner of Police M N Anucheth said Bangera was arrested on Monday and was taken into 14 days police custody till August 6, after he was produced before the 3rd Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court here on Tuesday.

Sources in the SIT said that based on information provided by Mohan Nayak, who was arrested on July 18 from Dakshina Kannada, Bangera was summoned for questioning on Monday. As his role in the murder was established during the interrogation, he was arrested.

“Bangera was also associated with a right wing organisation and was in touch with Amol Kale and others, who hatched a conspiracy to kill Gauri Lankesh. We are questioning him to determine the exact role he played in the murder,” an official said.

This is the fourth arrest  made by the SIT in the last one week.Mohan Nayak was arrested last Wednesday while  Ganesh Miskin and Amith Baddi were arrested on Sunday. 

Protest held against arrests
Hubballi: Members of the Kranti Sena, led by its president Vittal Pawar, staged a protest in Hubballi on Tuesday demanding that the youths arrested in connection with the murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh.  They said the police “wrongly picked up” the youths from Hubballi. “It’s illegal on the part of SIT to arrest the duo without even informing about the reason to the family members. Both the arrested are working members of the family and those who are dependent on them are in grave trouble,” Pawar said.  “Already the SIT has arrested innocent Hindu youths in various parts of the state. They must be released
as they have no involvement in the crime,” he added. 

Kalburgi case  likely to be cracked
The arrests of hardcore members of right-wing organisations in Karnataka could lead to the solving of the murder case of writer Dr M M Kalburgi.  A source said the SIT team may crack Kalburgi case as it believes that one of the nine arrested in the Gauri Lankesh case could be the person who pulled the trigger on Dr Kalburgi. Dr Kalburgi was shot at his residence by an assailant duo in August 2015 and till recently the investigating team had leads over the murder. “Some of the confession statements by the arrested youths are hinting that the same syndicate could have been involved in killing Kalburgi. The gun that was used in both the murders seem to be similar,” said a officer.

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