The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh has arrested the seventh suspect in the case, according to senior police officials investigating the case.
Mohan Nayak was picked up from his village by officials of the SIT on Wedesnday night and was produced in the third additional chief metropolitan magistrate court in Bengaluru. He has been remanded to six days in SIT custody.
The SIT has refused to divulge Mohan’s alleged role in the case. However, according to a report by The Indian Express, Mohan has been associated with pro-Hindutva organisations Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti for years. He also allegedly made arrangements for the rented house in which the suspects stayed before executing the killing.
This is the seventh arrest made by the SIT team in connection with the case.
Gauri Lankesh was assassinated outside her house in Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwarinagar in September 2017. Her death triggered nationwide outrage and protests. Gauri was known for her outspoken views against communal forces, especially against pro-Hindutva groups.
The SIT, which took over the probe of Gauri’s death, issued an appeal to the public to come forward with any information they may have about the murder. The team found a lead after it received a tip-off that a man named Suresh had allegedly rented out a house in Seegehalli to two men who’d vacated it a day after the murder of the journalist.
The SIT team probing the case has since gone on to make seven arrests, starting with KT Naveen Kumar, a resident of Maddur in Mandya, who was reportedly brought in to provide logistical support in the murder.
The team further arrested Sujeet Kumar alias Praveen, an activist of the Sanatan Sanstha in Mangaluru, Amol Kale alias Bhaisab, an activist of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti from Maharashtra, Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep, an activist of Sanathan Sanstha in Goa, Manohar Edave, a resident of Vijayapura in Karnataka.
The team made another arrest when it booked Parashuram Waghmore, a resident of Vijayapura, in connection with the murder.