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Gauri murder second arrest

Gauri Lankesh

Bangalore: The special investigation team probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh has arrested another person and charged him with conspiring to kill the senior journalist.

Parashuram Wagmare, 26, was arrested from Bijapur in north Karnataka on Monday, the SIT said.

He was brought to Bangalore on Monday night and produced before a city court on Tuesday morning.

An official from the public prosecutor's office said the court remanded Wagmare in the SIT's custody for 14 days.

The official said Wagmare had been slapped with the same charges that had been levelled on two others who were arrested earlier.

Asked if Wagmare had confessed to killing Gauri, the official said nothing could be disclosed at this stage. "Now it's up to the SIT to interrogate him," said the official who cannot be named.

Wagmare is the third suspect to be accused of hatching the plot to kill Gauri, who was shot dead outside her home on September 5 last year.

He is suspected to be the same Parashuram Ashok Wagmare who was one of the seven Sri Ram Sene activists arrested for hoisting a Pakistani flag in Sindagi on January 1 to foment tension. All of them are out on bail.

The first chargesheet filed in the Gauri murder case on May 30 named K.T. Naveen Kumar and Sujith Kumar alias Praveen as the first and second accused. They have been booked under IPC Section 118 for concealing the intent to commit a crime, 120B for criminal conspiracy and 35 for criminal intent. Wagmare faces the same charges.

The SIT said in a note that Wagmare was a native of Sindagi town in Bijapur. "His role in the conspiracy and other details will be revealed later as it would affect the investigation at this stage," it stated.

Neither the SIT nor the public prosecutor's office confirmed whether Wagmare was the actual killer who shot Gauri although local channels made such claims.

The SIT also did not reveal Wagmare's political background or if he too was linked to any Hindutva organisation like those in custody.

Gauri was also known for her strong views against communalism and wrote extensively in her Kannada magazine, Gauri Lankesh Patrike.

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