Telangana team joins SIT to probe Gauri Lankesh murder
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Telangana team joins SIT to probe Gauri Lankesh murder

Bengaluru: Four days after journalist Gauri Lankesh was gunned down at her residence in Bengaluru, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the murder is yet to get any credible information that can lead them to her killers.

Apart from the alleged right-wing angle, the team is looking at Naxal links as well as any personal feud or property dispute that may have led to the crime.

Yesterday, the Telangana Police joined the probe even as the SIT questioned several people who were constantly in touch with Gauri over the last few months to ascertain the motive behind the killing.

A team of Police officials from Telangana are looking at whether any Naxal group had any dispute over her initiative to help Naxals join the mainstream. With rumours floating that the move did not go down well with some Naxals, the team will explore whether they are involved in the murder.

Two teams have also been sent to neighbouring States, including Tamil Nadu-Kerala border areas, to gather information about Naxal activities and sale of country-made firearms here.

Sources said that though the SIT team visited Gauri’s residence to gather information, the team has not managed to get any clue about assailants or even the motive so far. The case is turning out to be a challenging one for the SIT as no clue was found at the spot except for empty cartridges. The CCTV footage too has not given any leads to them.

LONE KILLER?

The SIT is reportedly following a lead which suggests that the bullets were fired by a single person. The SIT has also made headway in establishing facial features of Lankesh’s assailant. The information has been collected from footage captured by a CCTV camera near a park, which the murderer reportedly passed after firing at Lankesh.

According to sources, the assailant took off his helmet near the park and turned in the direction of the CCTV camera. The line of inquiry that the SIT is following is that the murderer rode up to Lankesh’s car, got off his bike and fired at her. Investigators are however, yet to get a clear image of bike’s number plate.

CCTV FOOTAGE

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The CCTV footage shows a person wearing black jacket and helmet firing at her. However, the person’s face is not clearly visible in the video nor is his vehicle, the Police said. They, however, are examining footage of CCTVs at different locations to gather information. “We have sent CCTV footage gathered from Gauri’s residence to make sketches of the suspect. As of now we don’t have any clarity on the number of assailants — if it was just one person or more. We are analysing technical angles such as mobile phone records and are on a lookout for Supari killers who are active in the State,” an officer said.

September 9, 2017

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