MLC VS Ugrappa rubbishes Naxal role in the Gauri Lankesh’s killing reasoning that naxals would have claimed her death - as is the norm. Since no such claim has been made so far, it is pointless to say that naxals were behind her murder, he added. He also said that he does not think that naxals were upset over her efforts to bring the naxals to the mainstream, reports Kannada Prabha.
However, at this stage of investigations, he did not suspect any particular group or person and said the investigating officers will find out that. But he seconded the opinion of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi that such criminal acts are committed by those against whom one is fighting. He also said that going by the statement issued by BJP MLA Jeevaraj, one can make out the attitude of BJP.
Meanwhile, the anti-Naxal squad that has arrived in the City met the SIT team and held talks. The senior officers from Andhra arrived voluntarily on information about suspected Naxal killing and met IGP BK Singh, chief of SIT, at the CID office on Palace Road and discussed. The SIT team on its part had already collected information about the Naxal carnage in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and the Maoist killings in the urban regions. They had observed that their modus operandi was different from Gauri Lankesh killing. The Andhra officers told the SIT that at this stage of investigation it cannot be confirmed that Naxals had any role to play in this killing, according to sources. The meeting was held for an hour.
It can be recalled here that Chittoor, Karnul and Srishaila and other districts of Andhra Pradesh are naxal-infested regions. Even the present Chief Minister of Andhra Chandrababu Naidu was attacked by Red Squad, a few years ago. Hence the anti-Naxal squad has been set up to curtail Naxal activities in these areas. The squad has been very active in collecting all data with regard to Naxals, officials said. It is also learnt that CCB is collecting information about the missing persons who had once were active Naxals and Maoists in the State.
Meanwhile, the Forensic experts visited the crime spot again at Gauri Lankesh’s house and examined the site. FSL and Ballistic experts intensely searched the location for two hours looking for clues. On Tuesday evening there was a power shut down from 7 pm to 8.30 pm. That has helped the killers. Even in Gauri’s house CCTV the killer’s features are not very clear, it is reported.
A delegation of progressive thinkers met the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and submitted an appeal not to hand over the case to CBI, as some vested interests are pressurising but to assign it to the SIT set up by the government. The delegation said several attempts are being made to mislead the investigation by demanding to hand over the case to the central investigation agency.