Gauri Lankesh murder: Cops rule out professional angle, release sketches of suspects
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case released sketches of two suspects on Saturday. This comes as the first major breakthrough for the SIT in the case. Almost 40 days after the prominent journalist was shot dead at her residence in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar locality of Bengaluru, the SIT has zeroed in on suspects based on inputs by witnesses.
"Based on the information collected during the investigation, we have prepared sketches of suspected accused persons of this case. It is also suspected that these persons have stayed in the area nearby the residence of Gauri Lankesh. We have also obtained video clips of a motorcycle rider, who is suspected to also be involved in the commission of this offence, said B K Singh, chief of the SIT.
The SIT has ruled out professional angle as a motive for the murder but will continue to probe other angles including Gauri's life as an activist. "We have reached this far in the investigation because of public inputs and we are appealing for more help. There are eyewitnesses in the case but I won't be able to reveal much," the SIT chief added.
More than 200-250 people have been questioned in the case so far and over 75 terabytes of CCTV footage examined, the officials said. They added that while there are some similarities between the Kalburgi murder case and that of Gauri, there was an equal number of dissimilarities. The SIT chief confirmed that there was no evidence to prove that Prof M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were murdered with the same weapon as against what many media reports have claimed earlier.
The SIT has not associated the suspects to any specific organization and is in the process of identifying them. When asked about a tilak on the forehead of one of the suspect's sketch, B K Singh said, "those who commit crime attempt to mislead investigators and hence such things can't be taken at face value. We are yet to find out if they are from Karnataka or outsiders."