A Special Investigative Team (SIT) of the Karnataka Police, investigating the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, released sketches of two suspects on Saturday, and appealed to the public for help to nab the killers. The team also released a video of a suspect carrying out a recce of Lankesh’s residence ahead of the murder. Lankesh was shot dead outside her house on September 5 by two motorcycle-borne assailants.
“Based on the information collected during the investigation, we have prepared sketches of suspected accused persons of this case. It is also suspected that these persons have stayed in the area nearby the residence of Ms Gauri Lankesh. We have also obtained video clips of a motorcycle rider, who is suspected to also be involved in the commission of this offence,” a press note by the SIT read.
While two suspects are being investigated, the police has released three sketches, two of which are of the same suspect but sketched by two artists based on different eyewitness accounts. Sketches prepared using enhanced footage from CCTV, sources say
SIT chief B K Singh said that so far, 200-250 people have been investigated in relation with the case. He added that news reports of members of the Sanathan Sanstha carrying out the attack is unfounded. “That information (referring to Sanathan Sanstha) is only in the media. From our side, there is no information of any organisation till now,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Singh denied that the weapons used in the murders of M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh are the same.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of Sanatan Sanstha on Saturday congratulated the SIT for ‘presenting fact without succumbing to pressure’ and vindicated its stand that there was a conspiracy to implicate their organisation in Gauri Lankesh’s murder case.
The police has provided WhatsApps number (9480800304, 9480801701) a mobile number (9840800202) and an e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the public to contact them.
Sources had earlier told The Indian Express that the sketches have been made with the help of enhances footage from the CCTV cameras outside Lankesh’s residence. The sketches have been prepared with the help of a US-based firm.
(With ANI inputs)