BENGALURU: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh today released the protraits of three suspects, allegedly involved in the murder.
Talking to newsmen here SIT Chief B K Singh said '' we have identified two main suspects with technical inputs and local sources. We have also made sketches of these suspects''.
Gauri was gunned down by the assailants on September 5 at the doorstep of her residence when she was attempting to open the doors of her house.
Mr Singh said though three sketches have been released, SIT suspect only two culprits. The sketches have been drawn based on eyewitness accounts.
Mr Singh requested the public to provide information about the culprits whereabouts and about their stay in the city for seven days before the crime.
He said '' right now we do not have anything other than the sketches''. The culprits had stayed in the city for a minimum of seven days and have been spotted in Rajarajeswari Nagar, where Gauri was staying.
He said the SIT has eliminated any connection of the murder with Gauri's professional life.
The State government has announced Rs 10 lakhs to those who give information about the culprits.
Mr Singh said that the SIT is yet to ascertain whether there was any link of Gauri's murder with that of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013. They had not received catridges from the other investigative agency in Maharashtra.
He said the identity has been made with technical inputs and local sources.
The sketches have been prepared using enhanced footage from CCTV cameras at Lankesh's residence that captured the recce as well as the shooting, and accounts of eyewitnesses who have said they saw the suspects in the area prior to the crime. The SIT has prepared the portraits with the assistance of a US-based firm, said sources.
Though the quality of the enhanced images is not very good, the SIT has managed to ascertain the colour and make of the motorcycle and a sticker of deity on the front fairing, they added.
Efforts to trace the red Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle with a registration number beginning KA-02 through the police network in Bengaluru has not provided requisite results. Hence, the SIT is hoping that public would be able to identify the motorcycle, sources said.
One of the key findings in the investigation into Lankesh's murder has so far been the forensic evidence that the 7.65 mm countrymade gun used to kill her was the one used to kill Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad.