Week after Gauri Lankesh’s murder, SIT yet to find any solid leads
Investigators waiting for ballistics report from forensics laboratory which could indicate if Lankesh’s killers used guns similar to the one that killed another prominent right-wing critic MM kalburgiindia Updated: Sep 12, 2017 20:43 IST
A special team of investigators looking for the killers of Gauri Lankesh are yet to find any conclusive leads, sources said on Tuesday, a week after the senior journalist’s murder that sparked anger across the country.
Lankesh, the editor of Kannada weekly Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was a fierce critic of Hindu extremism and her death on September 5 triggered speculation that people connected to right-wing organisations may be behind her killing.
There has been no significant breakthrough yet, a senior officer who is part of the special investigation team (SIT) said on Tuesday.
The government had handed the case to the SIT on September 6.
“We are still waiting for the ballistics report from the Forensics Science Lab,” the officer said. “They were handed over the evidence on Friday and they usually take about a week to analyse the evidence. However, we have been asking them to expedite the process,” the officer said.
The team also collected CCTV footage from nearby surveillance cameras, including those installed at toll plazas. Till now, only the camera installed near Lankesh’s door in her house has captured the attackers.
The officer said the footages from other cameras were obtained to ensure they are not deleted. “All the footage, including from the toll plazas, has been collected so we can preserve it as evidence. As footage is deleted in 15 or 30 days, we wanted to collect this,” the officer said.
The team will now go through the additional footage that has been taken.
Since the forensics report was pending, the officer said, it was premature to say whether there was a link between Lankesh’s killing and the murder of other right-wing critics such as MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead in a similar manner.
“We can only come to a conclusion based on scientific evidence provided by the forensics lab,” the officer said. “Till such time, we cannot say anything conclusive about the case,” he said.