The Third Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACCM) court in Bengaluru has extended the judicial custody of KT Naveen Kumar, one of the accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, till June 25. Naveen Kumar is currently lodged at the Parappana Agrahara central prison in Bengaluru.
Naveen Kumar was charged on May 30 by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) with IPC section 302 (punishment for murder) and listed as the chief suspect in the Gauri Lankesh murder investigation.
According to the SIT charge sheet, he has been accused of providing logistical help to the out-of-state killers, and also watching Gauri Lankesh's movements before her killing.
The 37-year-old Naveen Kumar had refused to undergo a lie-detector test in April, citing ill health. He was supposed to undergo the narco-analysis test at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Ahmedabad on April 16, but after being taken to the lab, he refused, citing that he had been coerced by the police into signing documents indicating his voluntary participation. He had even threatened suicide.
Naveen Kumar was arrested by the Upparpet Police on February 18 this year in Bengaluru, and they recovered an illegal firearm and fifteen .32 calibre bullets from him.
He is the founding member of the Hindu Yuva Sene - a right wing Hindu organisation in Maddur, Mandya district, and also has links with Sanatan Sanstha, another right wing organisation that was on the police radar after Gauri Lankesh's murder.
Naveen Kumar, along with another accused Praveen, were charged with Sections 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 114 (criminal abetment) 120B (criminal conspiracy), 35 (criminal intent) of the Indian Penal Code in the 650-page preliminary charge sheet filed by the SIT.
Gauri Lankesh was murdered on September 5 last year at her Rajarajeshwari Nagar home by unknown assailants.