Police in Bengaluru have booked two accused arrested in connection with the murder of noted journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh under IPC 302 (punishment for murder). KT Naveen Kumar alias Hotte Manja and Praveen alias Suchit Kumar have also been charged under sections 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 114 (criminal abetment) 120B (criminal conspiracy), 35 (criminal intent) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Special Investigation Team probing the death also claimed that they have considerable evidence to prove the charges against the accused.
The announcement was made through a press release on Wednesday, the same day when the police submitted the chargesheet at the Third Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court. The two accused have also been booked under sections 3 (acquisition or possession), 25 (sells, transfers, converts) of the Arms Act too.
Gauri was shot dead at point blank range outside her Rajarajeshwari Nagar residence on September 5, 2017.
Naveen Kumar was arrested by the Upparpet Police and booked under the Arms Act on February 18. They had recovered a .32 calibre weapon and several rounds of bullets from Naveen. The same Upparpet Police arrested Praveen for possessing guns.
Natives of Biroor in Chikmagalur district, Naveen Kumar and his family had moved to Mandya several years ago. After a stint with the Bajrang Dal, Naveen and his brother started a new organisation in Mandya called the 'Hindu Yuva Sene'.
Police said that they had detained and interrogated Naveen Kumarâ€™s father Thimmegowda, a resident of Kadalur village in Maddur taluk of Mandya district for evidence. It was only then, that Praveenâ€™s name appeared along with other names that were were involved in the crime.
According to the investigators, Praveen is the man who was the other person traced in the CCTV footage alongside Naveen.
The 650-odd page preliminary chargesheet in the case included 131 witnesses including forensic experts and eyewitnesses. It also includes statements of family members of Gauri Lankesh, doctors who performed the autopsy and the officers who visited the spot on the night of the murder.