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Gauri Lankesh murder accused agrees to undergo lie detector test

Police said the suspected illegal gunrunner had played only a minor role in the murder.

bengaluru Updated: Mar 12, 2018 21:49 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Gauri Lankesh murder,lie detector test,special investigation team
People hold placards and candles during a vigil for Gauri Lankesh, a senior Indian journalist who according to police was shot dead outside her home on Tuesday by unidentified assailants in Bengaluru, in Ahmedabad on September 6, 2017.(Reuters File Photo)

The only person arrested so far in journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder case agreed in court on Monday to undergo a lie detector test.

The accused, KT Naveen Kumar, a suspected illegal gunrunner, had earlier declined to take the test, said an officer on the special investigation team (SIT) probing the case. The officer, who declined to be named, said Kumar played only a minor role in the murder, but did not share details.

After questioning Kumar following his arrest on February 18, investigators revised the number of suspects in the case from three to four.

The third additional chief metropolitan magistrate’s court sent Kumar to judicial custody till March 26.

The SIT officer said Kumar also agreed to undergo brain electrical oscillation signature profiling, a forensic investigation technique that is also referred to as brain fingerprinting.

“This test is conducted only in Ahmedabad. Once we get a date from them, we will seek the court’s permission to take him there,” said the officer.

“Kumar, who is from Chikmagalur district, is the founder of the Hindu Yuva Sene, a radical right-wing group without any apparent affiliation to any other organisation,” the officer added.

After questioning Kumar, the SIT made him an accused in the murder case on March 9.

Vedamurthy, counsel for Kumar, said he had met his client on Sunday to seek his views ahead of the hearing. “He told us he was willing to undergo any test as he was innocent,” said the lawyer.

An assailant wearing a helmet shot Lankesh, 55, outside her home on September 5, 2017. The assailant fired four times at her and struck her thrice. Lankesh, known for her anti-establishment, pro-poor and pro-Dalit stand, was targeted when she was returning home from work. The murder was captured on a CCTV camera at her home.

Lankesh was the daughter of poet-journalist P Lankesh and the editor of weekly tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 21:49 IST