Bengaluru: In a major breakthrough in the murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) claims that main accused K T Naveen Kumar alias “Hotte Manja” has confessed to the killing.
The police memo accessed by News18 clearly states that Kumar has recorded his statement owning up to the murder.
According to the confession statement, Kumar and his accomplice Praveen hatched the plot outside Adi Chanchanagiri complex at Vijayanagara in western part of Bengaluru. During the course of his interrogation, Kumar took the police to both the crime spot and the place where he allegedly plotted her murder.
However, it is not a confession made by the accused before a judge under 164. It is a confession made before the investigating officer (IO).
Police claim that Kumar has agreed for a lie detector test and he took them to crime spot using the same route he allegedly took on the night of murder.
The police have identified Kumar as “accused number one”. Earlier in the month, opposing Kumar’s bail plea the government advocate informed a court that the police need to interrogate him further.
The lawyer also gave details of the investigation to the court in a sealed cover.
Gauri Lankesh, 55, the editor of Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead outside her residence in Bengaluru’s southwestern suburb on September 5 last year. Of the seven bullets fired, three hit Lankesh — two in the chest and one in the forehead.
The BJP has alleged that the Congress government in Karnataka is trying to “pin the murder” on Kumar because of his affiliation with Hindutva organisations. Party MP Shobha Karandalaje had alleged that the Siddaramaiah government was implicating Kumar “to make the BJP look bad before Karnataka elections”.
Kumar was arrested by the Bengaluru Police near the main bus terminus at Majestic area a few days ago.
According to police sources, Kumar has close links to several radical Hindu outfits and was reportedly angry with Lankesh for "insulting" Hindu gods and goddesses.
Kumar belongs to Maddur taluk in Mandya district and currently a resident of Birur, a small town in south central Karnataka’s Chikkamagalur district. He had allegedly trained two other suspects Abhi and Ani in shooting. He allegedly made trips to Pune and Mumbai to procure and sell guns.