Agni Sreedhar had spoken about having knowledge about who may have killed Gauri Lankesh an event in Bengaluru.

Gauri Lankesh murder Former gangsters Agni Sreedhar and Muttappa Rai give statements
news Gauri Lankesh Murder Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 12:07

Over a fortnight after the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh outside her home in Bengaluru, the Special Investigative Team (SIT) took the statements of former gangsters Agni Sreedhar and Muttappa Rai, on Tuesday. 15 other people, who had filed defamation cases against Gauri were also questioned. 

At around 4.30pm on Tuesday, the investigating officers arrived at the home of Jai Karnataka Chief and former rowdy-sheeter, Muttappa Rai. Agni Sreedhar, a former gangster and owner of the magazine Agni, went to Rai’s residence to give his statement to the police.

According to an investigating officer, Agni Sreedhar has made statements about a possible connection of the “Hindu brigade sleeping cells” with Gauri’s murder.

On September 16, Agni Sreedhar had spoken about having knowledge about who may have killed Gauri Lankesh at the Periyar Prashathi Pradhana event organised in Bengaluru, the officer added.

“In his speech, Agni Sreedhar had said—the BJP or the RSS in Karnataka have no knowledge about Gauri Lankesh’s murder. There may be links to the Hindu Brigade sleeping cells. They operate in a very different manner. I am someone who has seen that side of the underworld closely and I know how these sleeper cells work. I will be able to offer my insight to the SIT if they approach me,” the officer said.

The SIT decided to go ahead and take his statement as they did not want to let go of any leads.

“Gauri Lankesh Patrike had carried an allegedly defamatory article on Muttappa Rai a few years ago. Hence, we went to obtain his statement as well. We have gathered some information which will help us in the investigation,” the officer added.

In addition to pursuing the alleged Hindu Brigade sleeping cell angle, the SIT has also taken the statements of 15 persons, who had filed defamation complaints against Gauri Lankesh.

The investigating team is still sifting through the footage of hundreds of CCTV cameras to track down the vehicle in which the unidentified assailant conducted the reconnaissance.

“So far, we suspect that the recce was conducted in a red colour pulsar bike. There is also a suspicion that the bike may have been destroyed. We are looking through criminal cases in which the accused used red pulsar bikes. We are also questioning those who have been imprisoned and had used these bikes. We have asked the state transport department to give us a list of KA 02 red pulsar bikes,” the investigating officer said.


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