A 37-year-old man was taken into custody in connection with the murder of Kannada tabloid editor Gauri Lankesh in the city almost six months ago, the police said on Friday.
KT Naveen Kumar, arrested by Bengaluru Police for possessing 15 rounds of.32 calibre cartridges, had founded a radical right-wing group called the Hindu Yuva Sene. "Since he is a suspect in our case we have taken him for police custody for further questioning".
Gauri was shot dead by unknown miscreants outside her residence in Bengaluru on September 5, last year.
These developments are expected to assume political sentiments as well because Karnataka is scheduled to go to polls this year and Lankesh's murder has been a big point of contention between Congress, BJP and other local parties. The police suspect that either he was directly involved in Gauri's murder or he had supplied weapons to the killers.
In the FIR registered in Upparpet police station in connection with the arrest of Naveen, it is stated that the CCB inspector Raju B, the complainant in the case, was at CCB office on February 18.
While Kumar is in their custody, the SIT is set to recreate the scenario of him riding a motorcycle around Gauri Lankesh's home in order to capture fresh CCTV images and compare them with those captured on September 5, 2017 to ascertain his role in the murder.
He was arrested by the CCB team from the Kempegowda bus stand in Majestic. "During the probe of Gauri Lankesh's murder, we were gathering information about illegal arm dealers".
Speaking on the matter the SIT said, "We haven't arrested Naveen so far".
According to news reports, Naveen Kumar has confessed to arranging "target practice" for four men before Lankesh's murder, in July 2017. Many of his friends are young men from Maddur and he also has links to members of the Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliate the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. SIT sources said a man from Mysuru had filed a statement with a Bengaluru magistrate claiming that he too was part of the camp. Four of them have Interpol Red Notices against them for their alleged involvement in earlier crimes.