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Gauri Lankesh murder accused claims his confession was coerced

In the confession, KT Naveen Kumar says that he refused to answer key conspirator Praveen’s calls because he was unable to procure either the guns or the ammunition.

bengaluru Updated: Jun 18, 2018 23:36 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Gauri Lankesh murder,Gauri Lankesh,KT Naveen Kumar
KT Naveen Kumar is the first person arrested in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

Even as the special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh believes it is nearing completion, KT Naveen Kumar, the first person arrested in the case, alleged on Monday that he was coerced into confessing to playing a part in the conspiracy, in his bail application.

Kumar’s lawyer, Vedamurthy, said the accused had been coerced into confessing. “The matter has been posted for Thursday for the SIT to file objections,” he said. Kumar has been in custody since February 18, when he was arrested in the state capital on charges of carrying ammunition without a licence. He was subsequently named as a conspirator in the murder.

However, Kumar’s lawyer pointed to his confession, which has been attached as part of the charge sheet against him, where Kumar claimed that he had only provided two rounds of ammunition to Suchith Kumar alias Praveen, who the SIT believes to be a key conspirator.

According to the confession statement, a copy of which has been reviewed by HT, Kumar failed to procure guns and ammunition as requested by Praveen. In the confession, Kumar says that he even refused to answer Praveen’s calls because he was unable to procure either the guns or the ammunition.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the SIT said the team was now busy trying to find local accomplices of both Praveen and Parashuram Waghmare, who it believes was the person who shot Lankesh. Waghmare was arrested last week.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 23:36 IST