Free Press Journal

Gauri Lankesh murder: Karnataka CM orders SIT probe into journalist killing


PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak

Bengaluru: A Special Investigation Team will probe the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead here on Tuesday night, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday.

“A SIT has been formed, headed by an Inspector-General-level officer, to investigate the journalist killing,” the Chief Minister told the media here after meeting top police officers at the state assembly Vidhan Soudha.

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Asked if the investigation could be handed over to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, Siddaramaiah said: “Have left it to the Director General of Police (R.K. Dutta) who will speak to the state Home Minister (Ramalinga Reddy) and decide.”

“I have an open mind,” the Congress leader said, adding that if the family members insist on a CBI investigation, the state could think about it.

Lankesh, 55, was shot dead by three unidentified men who fired seven bullets at her when she returned home from her office in the city. Two hit her in the chest and one in the forehead. She was the editor of popular Kannada tabloid “Gauri Lankesh Patrike”. In November 2016, she was sentenced to six months in jail after a defamation case was filed against her for a report against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.

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Earlier, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) M.N. Anucheth told IANS: “Three special teams were set up to crack the case. They are on the lookout for the suspected assailants. We are tracking the movement of people and vehicles at check posts and inter-state borders.”

“We have alerted our counterparts in the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu as well,” said Anucheth.