BENGALURU: The Bengaluru Magistrate Court granted a 5-day custody of main accused in journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder, KT Naveen Kumar. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been given the custody for the probe.
The 37-year-old had told the cops during interrogation that he paid Rs 1000 for each bullet for the murder which was sourced from Uttar Pradesh. Kumar, who hails from Birur town in Chikkamagaluru district, was arrested on February 18 by the SIT of Karnataka Police after he was identified with the help of CCTV footage.
Lankesh was shot dead by unknown by assailants outside her residence in Bengaluru on September 5 last year. She was the editor of the Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a tabloid known for "anti-establishment" views.
The sensational murder of the journalist had sparked an outrage across the country and triggered several protests across the country and especially in prominent parts of Karnataka.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had termed the killing of Gauri Lankesh "an onslaught on humanity" and said that his government would ensure that the culprits were brought to justice.
The government is "honest" in its efforts to find those behind the killing and bring them to justice, Siddaramaiah had told the Legislative Assembly. "It is a cruel death... It is an onslaught on humanity," Siddaramaiah said during the obituary reference to Lankesh in the House.
"We have still not been able to nab those who killed her. A SIT has been formed to nab them," he said.
Informing the Assembly that killers of rationalist MM Kalburgi were also yet to be found, the CM said, "The government and investigating team are honest in their efforts to nab the culprits."
The Karnataka government later formed a 21-member SIT, led by Inspector General of Police B K Singh, to investigate the case.