Bengaluru: A Special Trial Court here conducting the Gauri Lankesh murder trial recorded the examination of two material witnesses on Wednesday – a cable TV operator, who was the first to notice the body of the slain journalist, and a ‘watchman’ who heard gunshots and saw the scene of the murder after other people arrived at the spot.
The cable operator was asked to check the non-availability of a news channel in Lankesh’s house on the day of the murder while the ‘watchman’ returned home to a building where his wife was a watchwoman. The building was located opposite to Lankesh’s residence.
The cable operator was examined by the prosecution team led by advocate S Balan and cross-examined by the defence team led by Gangadhara Shetty and Krishna Murthy.
The journalist was murdered outside her house on September 5, 2017 allegedly by bike-borne men.
The police arrested 17 men in connection with the case and claim the murder was connected to the killing of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi and those of Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra.
The 17 are facing charges under Indian Penal Code, Karnataka Organised Crime Act, and the Arms Act. On Tuesday, Syed Shabbir from Mysuru, who owns a shop selling guns, and allegedly sold an air-gun to an associate of K T Naveen Kumar, the alleged gun-runner in Lankesh’s murder, were examined by the prosecution and defence lawyers.
Krishna Kumar, a panchanama (mahajar) witness in the murder, was also examined.
Earlier, on Monday, Gauri Lankesh’s sister Kavita Lankesh, and Anil Kumar, another witness, were examined.
The Special Court had, last month, scheduled the trial between July 4 and July 8 and for a week every month after.