Bengaluru, September 11: Six days after senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead, the SIT probing the murder has been strengthened with 40 additional support staff.
The additional staff include four inspectors and seven sub-inspectors, police sources said. The Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) B K Singh, comprises 21 officers. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru West) M N Anucheth said, "Additional staff has been provided to the SIT.
At this juncture, we do not want to reveal their names and identity". Police sources said the team was scrambling through the footage of CCTV installed by individuals in Rajarajeshwarinagar, where on the night of September 5 unknown assailants shot dead 55-year-old Lankesh at her home.
They said police have also taken the digital video recorders at the toll gates on five entry points to the city. One of the aspects of the investigation was to check the involvement of sharp shooters from outside the city.
The killing of Lankesh, Left-leaning journalist-activist, has come in for widespread condemnation. Meanwhile, at a press conference, former naxalites Noor Sridhar alias Noor Zulfiqar and Sirimane Nagaraj ruled out the possibility of naxalites' involvement in the killing of Lankesh.
"I can tell you certainty that naxalites are not involved in the murder as has been reported in a section of the media. This is only an attention diversion technique," Sridhar said.
Investigators have said they were also probing the Naxal angle. Media reports had raised the possibility of involvement of Left ultras.
Lankesh's brother Indrajeet had said that there was a threat to Lankesh from some Left extremists.
In the past, Lankesh had negotiated with the ultras in the forests of Karnataka and made nine of them surrendered before the police so that they can join the mainstream of society. At the insistence of Gauri Lankesh, Sridhar and Nagaraj gave up the violent path and began leading a normal life.