12/06/2018 12:21 PM IST | Updated 12/06/2018 12:21 PM IST

SIT Finds Links To Hindutva Outfits In Gauri Lankesh Murder Case

The key accused in the case said he got help from the leader of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

Amit Dave / Reuters

A Special Investigation Team of Karnataka Police has allegedly traced the plot of Gauri Lankesh's murder back to the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an affiliate of the Hindutva outfit Sanatan Sanstha.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the key accused in the case, K T Naveen Kumar, has said in a "voluntary statement" that the co-ordinator of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Mohan Gowda, put him in touch with someone from a unit of the Sanstha to plan the murder.

However, Gowda has refuted the allegations made by Kumar and has called it a police conspiracy.

The Indian Express quoted him saying, "It is a police conspiracy. We will hold a press conference soon on behalf of the HJS to speak on these issues."

Kumar said that after he attended a discussion on 'protecting Hinduism' at a Sanatan Sanstha convention in Ponda, Goa in June 2017, Praveen alias Suchith Kumar -- the other accused in the case -- got in touch with him.

A report on the Bangalore Mirror said that the SIT is probing the Goa angle in this case.

The New Indian Express had quoted Kumar saying in his statement to the police, "When I told him (Mohan Gowda) that I have gun and bullet for the purpose, he told me that people with similar ideology will come in contact with me in the coming days. After a few days, Praveen contacted me and he had stayed in my house in Birur twice, once before Gauri's murder and again after the incident."

Police also said that Praveen, who has now been arrested, could also have ben involved in the 2009 Margaon blasts. They had been looking for a man named Jayaprakash in connection to the Margaon blast for years and now suspect that Praveen is the same man, who was then using the name Jayaprakash.

A few days ago, the SIT allegedly found that Lankesh was murdered with the same gun that was used to kill rationalist MM Kalburgi in 2015.

Lankesh was murdered by bike-borne assailants on the night of September 5, 2017 in front of her home in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar.