SIT to conduct narco test on Lankesh murder case accused

Bengaluru, March 13 (IANS) A narcoanalysis test would be conducted on the man arrested in connection with the murder of Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh six months ago here, an officer of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) said on Tuesday.

“Though the court allowed us to conduct the narco test, or a lie-detector test, on K.T. Naveen Kumar on Monday, the date and place for the same have not been fixed yet,” SIT Investigation Officer M.N. Anucheth told IANS here.

Kumar, 37, was arrested by the SIT on March 9 and named as an accused in the Gauri Lankesh case.

“Evidence collected from him so far confirms him as an accused,” Anucheth said earlier.

Kumar was taken into custody by the SIT on March 2 for questioning after he was booked by the Crime Branch on February 19 under the Arms Act for illegal possession of 15 bullets of a revolver.

The accused hails from Birur town in Chikmagalur district, according to the police.

The police hasn’t given out any information about Kumar’s affiliation with any organisation so far.

Kumar had reportedly attended a few public gatherings of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), a Goa-based Hindu organisation affiliated to Sanatan Sanstha, another Hindu right-wing organisation from Goa.

“He (Kumar) had attended a few public gatherings of HJS to spread religious awareness and had also organised one in Maddur (in Mandya district, about 80km southwest of Bengaluru) a few months ago,” HJS spokesperson for Karnataka Mohan Gowda told IANS here.

Gowda, however, asserted that Kumar was not a member or volunteer for HJS.

“People interested in religious education take part in our activities but no memberships are offered in HJS or Sanatan Sanstha at all,” Gowda said.

Lankesh, 55, the Editor of “Lankesh Patrike”, was shot dead outside her residence in the city’s southwestern suburb by unidentified assailants on September 5 last year. Of the seven bullets fired at her, three hit Lankesh — two in the chest and one in the forehead.

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