In the few days that have followed the killing of Gauri Lankesh, a noted journalist and activist in Bengaluru, there have been many assurances from the government and the police about speedy action against the killers. The police have been probing CCTV footage from 33 cameras in the vicinity of Gauri’s house, where she was shot by unknown assailants on two-wheelers on Tuesday evening.
Here is where the investigation stands now, in 10 points:
1. The footage from the CCTV cameras has not been much help to the police so far. Initially, the investigators said that the lighting was too dim, so it was difficult to make out much from the videos.
Police said later that as Gauri was opening the bigger gate of her house to park her car, headlights of another vehicle, presumed to be of a bike, seems to be approaching from behind. The CCTV footage shows a person wearing a black jacket and helmet walks to Gauri and shoots her at a close range.
2. Gauri was shot at four times. She sustained three bullet wounds.One bullet pierced her left shoulder from behind, two hit her in the front, damaging her heart and lungs. The fourth bullet missed her and hit a wall.
3. While the CCTV footage showed only one attacker, the investigating officer said that there were three assailants involved. They were following her car on two bikes, and are suspected to be contract killers.
4. The police also said that the shooter was wearing a helmet the entire time, making it difficult for them to identify them even with face recognition technology.
5. Gauri’s mother Indira revealed that Gauri had spoken to her about strangers hanging around her house a few days ago. Gauri had said so while visiting her sister Kavitha’s place on September 2, but none of them took it to be a serious threat.
6. While ballistic reports are awaited, it is suspected that a 0.32mm calibre country-made pistol was used to commit the crime.
7. Police sources told Rajiv Kalkod for TOI that the killer was confident with the weapon, which is why they were able to fire shots one after the other.
8. Police are also investigating call records of Gauri’s mobile phone and two landline phones from her office and home. “Between August 2016 and September 5, Gauri had received or dialled around 650 numbers that were not on her contact list. The team will filter all calls and sort names based on their relationship with her,” police told TOI.
9. Bengaluru police has also asked for the public to provide any information which could help in investigations. Here are the details.
10. Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy has announced Rs 10 lakh reward to anyone who has information on Gauri Lankesh’s killers.
The Karnataka government has also instituted an SIT (Special Investigation Team) for the investigation. Three teams of detectives began probing the murder on Thursday. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that he would hand over the case to the CBI if Gauri's family insisted, after seeing how the SIT probe pans out.