SIT arrests teacher Suresh Kumar, formerly the prime witness for non-cooperation and misleading the Gauri Lankesh murder probe

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Just on the heels of the 10th suspect being arrested in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, the Special Investigating Team has now arrested a man who was initially a prime witness in the killing. This brings the total number of arrests to 11 in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

Also Read: Plot to kill Lankesh took root at Sanathan Sanstha’s Hindu Conclave in June 2017

According to an SIT source, sleuths arrested Suresh Kumar, 36-year-old a private school teacher from Kunigal, after receiving information that he had vital information regarding the murder.

Also Read: SIT claims Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 30 targets

The SIT had turned Suresh Kumar into a witness after the investigators found that one of the accused, Amol Kale, was housed by Suresh Kumar at his residence in Seegehalli since mid-June 2017 till the day of the murder.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh murder: SIT uncovers covert pro-Hindutva outfit that recruits assassins

SIT sources say that Suresh Kumar had given a statement as a witness, alleging that he helped the accused in the case locate Gauri Lankesh’s house and that he was also instrumental in tracking down some of the accused in the case.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killer

Suresh Kumar was produced before the magistrate and was remanded to judicial custody. The court, however, denied the SIT’s request for 8-day police custody after Suresh alleged that the police had slapped him and assaulted him before arresting him.

Also Read: 36 Targets and 50 Shooters: Gauri Lankesh Murder Suspect’s Diary Reveals Chilling Details

“He also said we (SIT investigators) had coached him to plead guilty. Hence, the court did not grant police custody,” the source said.

According to SIT sources, Suresh Kumar was allegedly a friend of Amol Kale and the two had met at a religious convention of organised by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. He had allegedly allowed Amol Kale to live in his house for over a month-and-a-half before Gauri Lankesh was killed.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh murder shooter Parashuram Waghmore linked to Sri Rama Sene

It was not only Kale, but also the other accused, including Parashuram Waghmore and Manohar Edave, who had allegedly visited Kale at the Seegehalli residence before the murder.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh shooter kept in house rented by man from Goa’s Sanatan Sanstha

“Suresh Kumar knew of their plans and he was a witness, but we learnt that he had withheld a lot of crucial information and had obstructed the course of the investigation,” said SIT sources.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh killers planned to kill actor Prakash Raj, a Goan Congress leader and a Mumbai-based journalist

According to Bangalore Mirror, SIT sleuths believe that Suresh Kumar and the other two accused including Mohan Nayak and Ganesh Miskin were the ones who procured and disposed the vehicles used for the crime. The SIT is grilling the suspects to locate the vehicles.

Also Read: Probe into Gauri Lankesh’s murder reveals links to extremist Hindutva group Sanatan Sanstha

Suresh Kumar was allegedly first questioned by the SIT in June. Suresh Kumar’s lawyer had filed an application for medical help after alleging that the police had assaulted him. The court accepted the petition and is expected to hear it on Friday, the BM report states.

Also Read: Sanathan Sanstha a nodal agency for radicals involved in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, money for hits, was routed through donations made to Sanstha

Currently, the SIT has arrested 11 men and is searching for Amol Kale’s suspected handler Dada alias Nihal.

Earlier, the SIT had arrested Amit Degwekar from Goa, Sujeet Kumar from Shivamogga, Manohar Edave from Vijayapura, KT Naveen Kumar from Maddur and Mohan Nayak from Dakshina Kannada. The SIT believes that Amol Kale and Dada were the planners and had recruited Edave, Degwekar, Waghmore and others to execute the crime.

Also Read: Top leaders of pro-Hindutva outfit including a retired Indian Army Colonel hatched Gauri Lankesh murder plot, claims SIT 

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar on the night of September 5, 2017. She had sustained three bullet wounds which proved fatal.

In February, the SIT arrested KT Naveen Kumar. It was only after his arrest that an entire gang of suspects were nabbed.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh murder accused confesses to being indoctrinated at Goa’s Sanatan Sanstha other Hindu outfits involved

The SIT also uncovered the gang’s connection to an underground pro-Hindutva fringe group and that the gang had also conspired to kill several rationalists and progressive thinkers. The SIT had found, in Amol Kale’s diary a list of 36 names, whom the gang had planned to kill.

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