Madikeri: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh has intensified the investigation and some members of the SIT are camping in Madikeri, investigating the role of Rajesh Bangera, the PA of Congress MLC Veena Achaiah.
Fifty-year-old Rajesh Bangera, who was arrested by SIT from Madikeri recently, was produced before a magistrate in Bengaluru who remanded him to Police custody till Aug. 6.
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar on the night of Sept. 5, 2017.
Though the SIT officials did not divulge details about the role Bangera played in the murder conspiracy, a senior official confirmed that he was in touch with Amol Kale and Amit Degwekar, believed to be the masterminds.
He trained Kale’s boys and showed them how to handle guns and fire at a safe range for effective results, said a source. Bangera works as a second division assistant in the Education Department in Mangaluru and was in possession of two licenced firearms. He allegedly used the permits to procure ammunition for Kale.
He is an active member of right-wing Hindu outfits and would attend meetings where he often expressed his ideology, which hinged on the belief that Hinduism had to be safeguarded. He would instigate people to take up arms, the source added.
Tracing Bangera’s involvement, the SIT visited a gun shop on Madikeri Main Road and interrogated the owner of shop. The sleuths have recovered certain documents from the shop.
A native of Palooru in Bettageri Gram Panchayat in Madikeri, Bangera also owns a coffee plantation. According to villagers, his family had migrated to Palooru from Dakshina Kannada district several years ago. The SIT sleuths also visited Palooru village and interrogated Bangera’s family members.