First arrest in Gauri Lankesh's murder case: First accused KT Naveen Kumar could just be a 'red herring'

Mar 9:A Special Investigation Team arrested 37-year-old KT Naveen Kumar, as the "accused number one" in the murder case of Left-leaning journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, the first arrest in the case since September last year. His custody has been extended till the 15 March, CNN-News 18 reported. The police are also on the lookout for other people named by Kumar during interrogation.
Who is KT Naveen Kumar?
KT Naveen Kumar alias Hotte Manja was held on 3 March for his alleged involvement in the murder of the editor of Lankesh Patrike, who was shot dead outside her residence on by unidentified assailants on 5 September last year. However, Kumar was first arrested on 18 February, by the Bengaluru Police for the possession of illegal bullets under the Arms Act. He was later named as the first accused in the murder of Lankesh.
Kumar, who hails from Birur town in Chikmagalur district, also deals with illegal arms. His alleged connection to the Lankesh murder came to be known when some of his friends voluntarily gave statements that Kumar had alluded his links to Lankesh's murder to his customers and friends, media reports said.
News Minute traced down his roots and reported that Kumar and his family had moved to Mandya several years ago, and have been residing at Kestur in Pandavapura taluk. Thimme Gowda, the older brother of Kumar, is also a "local thug" in Mandya and the duo would settle financial disputes between individuals.
Police sources also said that his looks matched with one of the sketches of the suspect and the photograph developed from a CCTV footage obtained from Lankesh's residence, which showed a man recceing around the journalist's house.
He has been found in possession of more than 15 rounds of the cartridges of the .32 caliber, which are the same as the 7.65 mm cartridges. Lankesh was fatally shot using a 7.65 mm country-made pistol in the driveway of her home. Police suspect that either Kumar was directly involved in Gauri Lankesh's murder or had supplied weapons to the killers.
The police are currently seeking permission to conduct a lie detector test on Kumar. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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