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CM Siddaramaiah examines CCTV footage, says man in helmet seen firing at Gauri Lankesh

The anti-right journalist was shot dead by unknown assailants while she was entering her house on Tuesday. A special investigation team will be formed to investigate her murder.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2017 00:16 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Siddaramaiah,Karnataka,Gauri Lankesh
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah pays his final tributes to journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (PTI photo)

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah personally examined CCTV footage of journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder on Wednesday, and identified a helmeted man as the culprit in the case.

He later visited the Ravindra Kalakshetra, where Lankesh’s body was being kept, to pay his respects to the deceased scribe. Condemning the incident as a “dastardly attack by organised criminals”, the chief minister said: “We had met just a week ago, but she did not inform me about any threat to her life.”

Lankesh was shot dead by unknown assailants while she was entering her house on Tuesday. A special investigation team will be formed to investigate her murder.

Siddaramaiah said he examined CCTV footage acquired from four cameras in the area, of which two were unclear. “The footage from one of the cameras showed a helmeted person approaching Gauri, who was opening her house gate to park her car. This person was seen firing at her. The impact of the shots, fired from a close range, was such that she fell back into her compound,” he added.

The chief minister said that though footage from the second CCTV camera showed another helmeted person at the scene, his involvement is yet to be established. “I have ordered the constitution of a special investigation team headed by an inspector general of police,” Siddaramaiah said. “The team will primarily look into Gauri’s murder. If it establishes any link between this and the murder of MM Kalburgi, we will ask the SIT to probe that as well.”

The probe into the murder of Kalburgi – a progressive Kannada scholar – has been moving at a snail’s pace. It was handed to the Crime Investigation Department two years ago.

The chief minister said he held an emergency meeting with senior police officers, and asked them to assess the threat perception to progressive thinkers in the state. Such people would be given security even if they do not ask for it, he added.

First Published: Sep 06, 2017 19:14 IST