With the Karnataka Special Investigation Team making breakthroughs in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, investigators from Maharashtra probing the killings of rationalists MM Kalburgi and Govind Pansare now want to question the suspects arrested so far.
However, the Karnataka SIT is apprehensive about handing over the suspects to other agencies. In order to ensure that the investigation concludes logically, the SIT has requested the court to not give custody to other agencies.
Sources with the SIT told TNM that a four-member team of the SIT in Maharashtra probing the murder of Govind Pansare left for Bengaluru on Sunday night.
â€śThey want to interrogate the suspects but since this is the first time there has been a breakthrough in the murder we donâ€™t want to jeopardise the probe,â€ť the source added.
The SIT had in May searched a house in Maharashtraâ€™s Satara region, where they believe Parashuram Waghmore, the alleged shooter of Gauri Lankesh had taken refuge for a month after the killing.
â€śWe have also found information linking Gauri Lankeshâ€™s murder to that of Narendra Dabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi. But we know that if secrecy is not maintained then the probe will be jeopardised. So, we have requested the court to not grant custody of suspects to the Maharashtra SIT. We want this investigation to end properly and not get botched up,â€ť the source added.
SIT sources said that the investigators from Maharashtra may seek permission to question the suspects for a few hours under the SIT's supervision.
Meanwhile, KT Naveen Kumar, the Hindu Yuva Sene President, who was first arrested in the case, has applied for bail with the City Sessions Court. KT Naveen Kumarâ€™s lawyer alleges that Naveen Kumar was not involved in Gauri Lankeshâ€™s murder and that the SIT had forcefully drawn out a confession from Naveen to implicate him as they had no evidence.
â€śThe petitioner (KT Naveen Kumar) submits that the voluntary statement was drawn by the respondent (SIT) as per the whims and fancy of the complainant so as to implicate the petitioner in the case and the entire case was built on the voluntary statement, which was drawn by the police to implicate the petitioner in the case,â€ť the bail application reads.
Naveenâ€™s bail hearing is expected to be taken up on Monday.