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SIT Gets Custody of Man Alleged to Have Supplied Guns to Killers of Gauri Lankesh

According to police sources, Naveen Kumar has close links to several radical Hindu outfits and was reportedly angry with Gauri for "insulting" Hindu gods and goddesses.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:March 3, 2018, 12:02 AM IST
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SIT Gets Custody of Man Alleged to Have Supplied Guns to Killers of Gauri Lankesh
File photo of KT Naveen Kumar alias "Hotte" Manja, who has given the police some vital information which may help them in nabbing the killers of Gauri Lankesh. (Image courtesy: Facebook)
Bengaluru: The Karnataka Police seem to have got some big lead in the murder case of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh. According to a high-level source, a suspected gunrunner KT Naveen Kumar alias "Hotte" Manja has given the police some vital information which may help them in nabbing the real killers.

Naveen Kumar was arrested by the Bengaluru city police near the main bus terminus at Majestic area in Bengaluru a few days ago. A local court has sent him to the custody of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh.

According to police sources, Naveen Kumar has close links to several radical Hindu outfits and was reportedly angry with Gauri for "insulting" Hindu gods and goddesses.

He is from Birur, a small town in south Karnataka’s Chikkamagalur district, and had allegedly trained two other suspects Abhi and Ani in shooting. He used to travel to far away places like Pune and Mumbai to procure and sell illegal guns.

According to initial information, he has sold guns to several criminals and radical elements. The police suspect that either he was directly involved in her murder or he had supplied weapons to the real killers. The killers caught by CCTV at Gauri's house have some resemblance to him, they claim.

The police have recovered a .32 bore rifle and 15 live cartridges from him.

They have now taken him to an undisclosed location for further interrogation.

However, the top cops are tight lipped over the sensational development and are not coming forward with any information.

If he turns out to be a big catch, the Siddaramaiah government, which is facing the public ire for delay in cracking the Gauri murder case, can reap some political benefits in the Assembly polls due in the next two months.

The editor of a Kannada tabloid "Gauri Lankesh Pathrike", Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017. Gauri was a controversial journalist and activist who took on several Hindu radical outfits.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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