After months since the incident, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by Karnataka state police has submitted a 650-paged charge sheet to investigate the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. This is the first charge sheet filed in the case and with it, SIT is getting close to solving the case.

On September 5, 2017, journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar of Bengaluru. The Karnataka Police had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT), dedicated to carrying out investigation to solve the Gauri Lankesh murder case. Interestingly, the entire incident was captured in CCTV cameras that were located right in front of Gauri’s home – yet, the SIT was unable to find the accused for months. However, on Wednesday, the SIT submitted a charge sheet running over 650 pages that was the first submission from the team since the murder.

In the charge sheet, SIT stated that Gauri Lankesh was gunned down after her assailants found her to be against a specific religious community and their ideology. The charge sheet lists out statements from 134 witnesses including family members of Gauri, her friends, office staff, neighbours, doctors who conducted the post-mortem and no outfit has been named in the document for being responsible for her murder. However, in the charge sheet, no outfit has been named in the document for being responsible for her murder. SIT has also mentioned that it was yet to recover the firearm used in the killing of Gauri Lankesh.

Also, the charge sheet mentions that Naveen Kumar, the leader of Hindu Yuva Sena, was not directly involved in the murder, but he accommodated assailants who killed Gauri; and hence, he has been booked for murder, criminal conspiracy, concealment of evidence and under Section 25 (3) of the Arms Act. Besides this, SIT is expected to take Praveen Kumar and his accomplices Amol Kale, Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep, Manohar Edave into custody for further questioning related to their involvement in the murder of Gauri Lankesh; with which, the SIT will be able to end the case and punish those who are convicted.

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