MYSURU: While the special investigation team probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh claims that it is on the lookout for people who bought weapons from alleged gunrunner and right-wing activist K T Naveen Kumar, his family insists that he is innocent and is in no way connected with the incident.
Naveen’s older brother Thimme Gowda told The New Indian Express that the police had picked him up on January 14, a day after Shivarathri festival. “They called me only on February 17. When I went to meet Naveen at Cottonpet police station in Bengaluru, he pleaded with me to save him. I told him to confess if he was involved in the murder, but he asserted that he was not involved. I am sure my brother is not a bad person, someone who can go the extent of murdering a person.”
Thimme Gowda said, “A Kannada news channel has been telecasting that Naveen is involved in Gauri’s murder. This is not true. After watching this news on the channel, my mother attempted suicide.”Gowda said he will fight his brother’s case legally. The family is upset with the SIT for linking Naveen to the murder of Gauri .
Naveen, a native of Kadanur in Maddur taluk of Mandya district, is a college dropout and is into real estate and money lending. He did his schooling and completed his PUC II at KM Doddi in Mandya district and joined BA at a college in Mysuru. The family left the village to settle down in Maddur town and in Bengaluru years ago.
After his marriage about six years ago, Naveen and his wife shifted to Birur in Chikkamagaluru district. He had reportedly been associated with organising some functions of pro-Hindu groups. He was also part of a protest against conversion by some people associated with a church in Maddur and was booked. The case was registered in Maddur police station. However, he maintained a low profile and visited Maddur once a month to look into his financial dealings carried out with the his brother.