Published: Sun, October 15, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Gauri Lankesh murder: Suspects' sketches released but SIT has nothing else

Gauri Lankesh murder: Suspects' sketches released but SIT has nothing else

Sources in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh have said they got vital clues on the hitmen from the logistical support they received while they were in Bengaluru. The cops also released a CCTV footage located outside Lankesh's residence and said that one of the suspects involved in her murder conducted recce before the murder.

Gauri was shot dead in front of her house on September 5 evening while she was just entering the house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.

B K Singh, SIT chief said the two male suspects' sketches were prepared based on information from our technical team and information from locals.

Earlier, there were reports that the SIT had identified five people linked to Sanstha Sanstha as the key suspects. With no headway so far in Gauri Lankesh's murder, the investigating team has made these sketches public to seek help in identifying the suspects. Both the suspects are expected to be aged between 25 and 35 years, and the SIT believes that they are no more in Bengaluru.

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While the investigators have ruled out the angle that it is Gauri's writings as a journalist that led to her killing, they are now pursuing the social activism angle vigorously that could have instigated the killers. However, the police have refrained attributing communal colour to the recent development, saying they can't ascertain religion of suspects by external appearances like tilak or earrings as it could be done to mislead.

SIT also released a video footage of a bike rider wearing a full-masked helmet on a red-wine and black coloured motorcycle. Speaking to media personnel, I G intelligence BK Singh and MN Anuchet (DCP, Chief Investigation Officer) said that they were hopeful of cracking the case soon. "We request the public to help us find their hideouts in the city", he added.

On reports that weapons used to kill Lankesh were the same used to shoot dead M.M Kalbhurgi, another rationalist in 2015 in a case that remains unsolved, the police said there is no confirmation on the matter.

"If you look at the sketch in Kalburgi case and this, there is a lot of effort".

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