Kumar's arrest is seen as the first major breakthrough by the SIT which has so far been unable to make any substantial progress in a case that made national and worldwide headlines.
This content is restricted to site members.
Like Gauri, Kalburgi too was killed by a bike-borne gunman who shot and escaped without leaving a trace. We have submitted some evidence gained during investigation in a sealed envelope to the court, which is why the court extended the date of Naveen Kumar's custody with the police. The bullet that killed Gauri was manufactured in 2009, said police without divulging further information."At this moment, all we can say is Naveen knew about Gauri's killing before September 5, 2017". The SIT had Naveen ride a bicycle in its guardianship.
With a city court having sent him to police custody, now as an accused in the Gauri murder case, Kumar will continue to be interrogated. The government had set up the SIT to probe the journalist-activist's killing.
Lankesh, the Editor of "Lankesh Patrike", was shot dead by an unidentified man wearing a helmet while the suspect who rode the motorcycle was also not identitfied. Despite denials by Sanatan Sanstha about its links to Naveen Kumar, a senior advocate linked to the Sanstha appeared in court on Friday on behalf of Kumar and assisted advocate Vedamurthy, who had earlier appeared for the accused. "That number is given at the time of chargesheet", a senior SIT official said, requesting not to be named. The locals in the area are reported to have said that they have heard of Naveen and his organisation, but it was no different from other Hindu fringe groups that has sprung up over the last few years. The investigations in the Upparpet case has shown that Kumar, during conversations about guns and ammunition with some of his friends from Maddur, alluded to his links to the murder of Lankesh.
The SIT has made a decision to transfer the case of Kumar's plot to eliminate K S Bhagawan to the Mysuru police. The police are now trying to force a statement out of him and are trying to fix him in the case, he contended.