Indian police arrest right-wing activist over prominent newspaper editor's murder

Gauri Lankesh, the editor and publisher of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead outside her home in the southern state of Karnataka's capital Bengaluru on Sept 5, 2017.
Gauri Lankesh, the editor and publisher of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead outside her home in the southern state of Karnataka's capital Bengaluru on Sept 5, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI - Indian police made its first arrest on Friday (March 2) in connection with the murder of a prominent newspaper editor whose death triggered nationwide protests last year.

Gauri Lankesh, the 55-year-old editor and publisher of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead outside her home in the southern state of Karnataka's capital Bengaluru on Sept 5, 2017 by gunmen on a motorcycle.

Lankesh was critical of Hindu fundamentalism in politics and wrote extensively about secularism.

The suspect, Naveen Kumar, 38, is  accused of taking the killer to Lankesh's home on his motorcycle on the day of the murder.

He was picked up by police from a bus station in Bengaluru on Feb 19, The Statesman reported.

Kumar is the founder of a splinter unit of the right-wing group Hindu Yuva Sena, according to The Times of India. 

"The special investigating team probing the murder case Friday arrested K.T. Naveen Kumar, said to be a leader of a local Hindu fundamentalist outfit, for his involvement in the murder of Lankesh," a police official said on Saturday.

He was earlier nabbed by police for illegal possession of bullets. The special probe team investigating Lankesh's death has now taken Kumar into custody, a police official was quoted as saying by Xinhua.