It has been almost six months since journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh was gruesomely murdered right in front of her home, in the darkness of night. The entire incident was captured by a CCTV camera, yet, there was no sign of solving the case – until, the CBI Special Investigation Team took 37-year-old KT Naveen Kumar into custody to investigate his involvement in the killing.
Six months, and nothing. Despite all special central investigation teams, visual evidences, bullets, footages – Gauri Lankesh murder case remained unsolved. The activist-journalist, known for her upfront approach of standing up and speaking the truth via her words, Gauri Lankesh was killed for what she was. Or rather silenced for what she spoke. There were candle marches, there were protests, the entire country – or at least the sane citizens of India stood up, asking to the government to solve the case. But with time, everything fades away – except fear, fear simply grows with time. Fear against freedom of speech, fear for standing by truth. And the delay in solving the case made it worse.
However, on February 18, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested a 37-year-old man named Naveen Kumar near Majestic bus stand in Bengaluru for illegal possession a 32-calibre gun and 15 live bullets. Kumar was arrested by Jnanabharathi police and upon interrogation, the police found that Kumar bragged to his friend that he had been involved in the Gauri murder. Investigating further, the CCB found evidences that indicated Kumar’s links with some right-wing groups and “his involvement in facilitating the murderers to the house of Gauri”. Later, a city sessions court remanded Naveen Kumar T alias Hotte Manja, a resident of Maddur, Mandya district, and founder of a splinter unit of the Hindu Yuva Sena; and ordered an eight-day long SIT custody.
Kumar is currently under SIT custody for eight days to conduct deep investigation regarding his involvement in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, on September 5, 2017. The arrest came after SIT had suspected Naveen of ferrying the killer to Gauri’s home in Bengaluru, on the night of murder. SIT spokesperson said, “We had the footage from near Gauri’s house on those two days showing the biker on what appears to be a recce. Naveen’s posture on a bike resembles the man in the footage. We’re waiting for forensic confirmation that the recreated images of Naveen riding the bike matches the man in the CCTV footage. We have enough evidence to establish his presence in RR Nagar on September 3 and 5.” The arrest might be seen fruitful and we may have to believe the results of the probes, but the truth might remain unearthed forever. And we might never know what happened that night.