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Gauri Lankesh: SIT Running out of CCTV Footage, No Breakthrough

The possible involvement of right-wing organisations is a prominent angle of the investigation.

Updated
India
2 min read
The SIT is far from a breakthrough in Gauri Lankesh murder case. 
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The investigators of Gauri Lankesh murder are running out CCTV footage. Over the last one month, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has combed through more than 75 percent of the CCTV footage they collected as part of investigation. However, no actionable evidence has emerged from this analysis, said SIT sources.

While speculations about the involvement of a Goa-based right wing organisation are doing the rounds, SIT officers said that investigation is yet to provide evidence that can identify the killers. However, over the month the team has ruled out several angles in the investigation and the investigation is now focused on a handful of leads, prominent of them being the involvement of right-wing organisations.

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Running Out of CCTV

CCTV footage from more than 700 cameras were collected by the SIT as part of their investigation. Out of which, 50 cameras that were of special interest have been combed personally by investigators. For the study of the rest of the footage, a software is being used.

As total data size of the footage is about 200 TB, the SIT has roped in a private firm, whose software can pick out specific images by combing through footage. “For example, if we want to look for one specific motorcycle from an entire month’s footage, the software can provide that information,” said a senior officer.

Although footage showed the picture of the eyes and nose of the killer, police have not been able to make sketch.

Right-Wing Involvement Prominent Angle of Investigation

In last one month’s investigation, the team has ruled out personal rivalries, financial reasons, crime of passion and some other angles. The men working on these angles have been reassigned. The investigation is focused on the ideological reasons behind the killing.

However, it is too early to pinpoint any particular organisation or prime suspects in the case. “Yes, several organisations are of interest to us and we have been looking at the cases where writers have been attacked in the past. But we don’t have any evidence or reason to say any organisation is behind the attack,” said a senior officer.

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No Bullet Matching Yet

The delay in obtaining bullet cartridges from the Professor Kalburgi murder case has slowed down the investigation, the officer added. A team of SIT has been interacting with other agencies and collecting information about right-wing organisations which were allegedly involved in the killing of MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar.

“It is important that we find out if there is a connection between these murders and the murder of Gauri Lankesh. For that we need to match bullet cartridges from these crimes with the cartridges from the Gauri murder, and we are yet to get the custody of these cartridges,” said the official.

Far Away from Breakthrough

Even though the Karnataka Home Minister said that the SIT has made considerable development in the case, the working of the SIT gives a different impression. Even though they have managed to rule out several angles in the investigation and have begun a focused investigation, the SIT is far from away from getting a breakthrough in the case.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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