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Gauri Lankesh murder: Karnataka SIT releases sketches of 2 suspects, CCTV video footage

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Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team probing the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh today released the sketches of two suspects and video footage from CCTV cameras. It has sought public help to nab the culprits.

Based on information collected from witnesses, three sketches of two suspects were prepared. They could have been staying near Lankesh’s residence to track her movements, the SIT said.

“There are only two suspects, but we have released three photographs altogether based on accounts of two witnesses … We have released two photographs of one of the suspects because two professional painters drew them,” SIT Chief B K Singh told reporters here.

The video footage showed a man riding a motorcycle without a registration number apparently to conceal his identity. Singh said the sketches of the suspects have been released to trace them and requested people to provide  information on them if they have any.

The officer asked the public to reach him on the mobile  number: 9480800202, share details on WhatsApp numbers  9480800304, 9480801701 or e-mail to “sit.glankesh@ksp.gov.in”.

The SIT chief said the identity of any person giving information leading to the arrest of the accused would be kept confidential.

The person would be “suitably rewarded” as has already been declared by the state government.

The 21-member SIT headed by Inspector General of Police Singh was formed a day after Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside her house on September 5. The SIT scrambled through footage from various private and public CCTV cameras, quizzed many people and collected details from a number of people.

The killing of Lankesh, known to be an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-right wing views, had led to outrage and protests by several groups over alleged “rising tolerance” and attempts to muzzle dissent with the criticism directed at the Central government and right wing groups.

The state government has announced Rs 10 lakh reward to anyone providing information on the killing. As a political slugfest broke out on the killing of Lankesh, her family had made a plea against giving political colour to it. The family had said investigators should look into all angles behind her killing, whether it is right wing extremists or Naxalites, as reports had emerged about a possible Naxal link.