The Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the Karnataka police, probing the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh has arrested an absconding accused Rushikesh Devdikar aka Murali in connection with the case. A local court in Karnataka allowed the suspect to be taken on a three-day transit remand.
Devdikar was arrested in Katras, in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district. His house is being searched for clues and he will be produced before the judicial magistrate on Friday, 10 January, SIT officials said.
According to The News Minute, so far, 18 people have been arrested by the SIT for their alleged involvement in Lankesh’s murder. Devdikar was named as accused number 18 in the chargesheet filed by the SIT in November 2018 in connection with the murder, according to the report.
Devdikar was primarily involved in the conspiracy to murder Lankesh. He is a key member of the syndicate that planned and executed the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.
According to the Gauri Lankesh murder chargesheet, Devdikar was the ideological motivator and main recruiter for the murder.
He is considered part of the top leadership of the gang that executed the murder, next to Amol Kale and Virendra Tawade.
According to a senior SIT official the arrest is crucial to avoid the regrouping of the syndicate behind the rationalists' murders.
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar on the night of 5 September, 2017. She had sustained three bullet wounds which proved fatal.
(With inputs from The News Minute.)