Footage from two CCTVs located at the residence of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh have provided little clues to the identity of the man who shot dead the 55-year-old on Tuesday night on account of poor lighting at the scene of crime and the assailant keeping his face hidden by donning a motorcycle helmet.
“The CCTV footage has captured the sequence in which the shooting happens but has provided little clues to the identity of the killer. The entire shooting gets over in eight seconds. The attacker is wearing a helmet and a dark jacket making it difficult to distinguish any features,’’ said police sources briefed about the investigation.
The CCTV footage has only been able to confirm that the killing was carried out by two men on a two-wheeler, who parked behind Gauri Lankesh’s car before the assailant stepped up and fired at her back as she opened the gate and later shot her twice in front when she ran to the house.
Analysis of the phone records of the journalist had not revealed anything untoward until now’ and investigators are yet to find a concrete direction in the case, sources said. “One of the angles of investigation is to see whether there are similarities to the killing of the rationalist Kalburgi. Prima facie there is a similarity in the modus operandi. We are awaiting forensic reports on the weapon used in the killing to arrive at a conclusion,’’ police sources said.
One of the angles that the police are looking at is the whether Gauri Lankesh in recent times made any speeches at public forums outside Karnataka which may have attracted the attention of fundamental groups or activists, sources said.
Lankesh who was very active with the Dalit movement made fiery speeches opposing Hindutva and right wing forces at rallies like Udupi Chalo last year in Karnataka. Police said that the possibility of the journalist being attacked for a story her paper may have been working on is remote since the Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a tabloid, was largely commentary and analysis based rather than reportage or investigations.
“The possibility of the left wing Naxal forces being involved is also remote since she was associated closely with them,’’ police sources said.