Bengaluru: The Hindutva extremist arrested in connection with the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh attended at least five different meetings of the Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliate, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), last year in Bengaluru and Maddur in Karnataka, and Ponda in Goa, investigations have found.

On March 2 this year, the Special Investigation Team probing the murder arrested 37-year-old K T Naveen Kumar, who belongs to Maddur in south Karnataka’s Mandya district, after investigations revealed that he played a crucial role in the planning and execution of the murder by spying on Lankesh and guiding her killers.

To substantiate Naveen Kumar’s role in the murder, the SIT had presented to a magistrate’s court in Bengaluru a voluntary statement given by him ahead of his arrest. The SIT is currently investigating the larger conspiracy behind the killing, and Naveen Kumar’s association with the Sanatan Sanstha and the HJS. Rogue elements from these groups have been linked to the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, and the Leftist thinker Govind Pansare, in Maharashtra in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

A digital trail on social media and the Internet shows Naveen Kumar attended at least five meetings of various sizes organised by the HJS and Sanatan Sanstha at various places in 2017 to discuss, among other things, the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra in India.

Kumar, who was the Maddur president of the Hindu Yuva Sena, was present at the HJS’s first-ever meeting in that town in March 2017. Kumar gathered over 40 youths for the meeting, which was held on the rooftop of a building in Maddur, and was addressed by the HJS’s Karnataka spokesperson, Mohan Gowda.

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Lucknow: A 46-year-old government hospital employee in Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad died on Sunday evening, 24 hours after receiving a Covid vaccine shot. The district's Chief Medical Officer has said the death is unrelated to vaccination.

Ward Boy Mahipal Singh died after complaining of chest congestion and breathlessness. According to his family, he had been unwell before the jab.

"He was vaccinated on Saturday around noon. On Sunday he felt breathless and complained of chest congestion. We are inquiring into the reasons of the death. We will get a post mortem done. It does not seem to be a reaction to vaccination. He did night duty on Saturday too and there were no problems," MC Garg, Moradabad's chief medical officer, told reporters late last night.

The post mortem report reveals the immediate cause of death as "cardiogenic shock/septicemic shock" due to "cardio-pulmonary disease", according to the Uttar Pradesh government.

The man's son told the media he may have been unwell before the vaccination, but that he felt worse after receiving the shot. "My father left the vaccination centre around 1.30 pm, I brought him home. He was feeling breathless and he was coughing. He had a bit of pneumonia, the usual cough and cold, but he started feeling worse after returning home," Mahipal Singh's son Vishal told the media. 

In a press release, the UP govt said it vaccinated 22,643 people on Saturday, day 1 of India's Covid Vaccination drive. The next day of vaccination in Uttar Pradesh is Friday, January 22.