Bengaluru: Noted journalist and editor of a Kannada weekly tabloid ‘Hai Bangalore’, Ravi Belagere, was in for a shock, when the CCB sleuths quizzed him about slain journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh.
Thrown completely by the unexpected question, Belagere was reportedly startled initially but then quickly threw the question back at his interrogators and asked why he was being questioned about the fiery journalist. However, he is said to have told the police that Gauri was just a friend and nothing beyond that.
It is learnt that the CCB officials had information that after Belagere sacked Sunil Heggaravalli, his long-time colleague at the tabloid and also the person whom Belagere allegedly wanted to see dead, his ex-colleague stayed in touch with Gauri and she was also reportedly helping him. This, it is said, had upset Belagere. Thus, the CCB police questioned Belagere about his relations with Gauri, for which he reportedly responded that his ‘soured relations with Gauri’ was baseless.
In a curious development, Belagere`s second wife Yashomathy had briefly disappeared with her son, for a while from her house and returned later in the day. But curiously, she has also deleted her FB account. The police are likely to quiz her as part of the probe, trying to ascertain her relationship with her husband's employee.
CCB officials continued questioning Belagere in connection with the case and he is said to be in denial mode about his involvement in the case. Thus, the CCB police are busy building a watertight case against him, by collecting circumstantial, material and technical evidence.
A CCB team is in North Karnataka in search of Viju Badager, as associate of sharpshooter Shashidhara Ramachandra Mundewadi. ``It's of the utmost importantance, we need Viju Badager to be questioned as part of the probe, as he was with Shashidhara when he went to gun Sunil Heggaravalli down. We should get him first and teams are in North Karnataka in search of him. Also, we are yet to question Sunil and his statement holds the key to the investigation,`` an official said.