The Special Investigation Team which is probing the case of murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh have arrested a personal assistant to a Congress Member of Legislative Council. Rajesh D Bangera, personal assistant to Congress MLC Veena Achaiah from Kodagu district in Karnataka was arrested by the SIT on July 23rd. He has been sent on remand to 13-day judicial custody on Wednesday at the behest of the SIT. Kodagu which is also known as the ‘Kashmir of Karnataka’ comes under the Mysore Lok Sabha constituency. Shantheyanda Veena Achaiah was also the former president of the Kodagu District Committee and the president of Kodagu Zilla Panchayat. Rajesh was appointed as PA to the leader by Congress two years ago, he also served as a second division assistant in the department of public instruction. Rajesh had also served as an assistant to the ZP in the past and was currently working at the MLC’s office at the ZP building in Old Fort in Madikeri. This raises some very serious doubts over the cause and identity of perpetrators for the attack on Gauri Lankesh which eventually led to her death.
Another staff from the MLC office said,“On July 23, the MLC’s office was not opened even after 12 noon. The people informed the MLC about it. Later, I opened the door. We did not have any information about Bangera. I learnt about his arrest only after watching TV on Tuesday night.” Some other staffs from the building explained that there was nothing which stood out in the case of Sanjay, he was a regular employee and worked really well. There are however serious allegations levied against Sanjay by the SIT who became the 10th accused to be arrested in the case. According to a New Indian Express article, Sanjay has reportedly confessed of his involvement in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. According to the article, it was Rajesh who had supplied alleged shooter, Parshuram Waghmare with the arms and bullets and had given him the proper training to carry out the ghastly deed.
The investigations in the case of Gauri Lankesh seemed to have hit a dead end just a couple of weeks before. The main accused Parshuram Waghmare had denied involvement in the murder of the journalist and had accepted to undergo the narco analysis test in order to prove that he was not involved in the murder. This arrest made by the SIT might also show some Congress leaders being involved in the plot in the days to come. The Congress and JDS coalition government in Karnataka should take as many steps required to bring the case to an early end. Similar to how the central government had taken fast action in the killing of Jammu and Kashmir based journalist Shujaat Bukhari. What is saddening today is the silence of the mainstream media in our country over this arrest made, probably because the accused is the PA of a Congress leader.
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