Just a few hours after Karnataka Police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) released three crude sketches of two suspects involved in the murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, Bengaluru's Tumkur BJP MLA Suresh Gowda's personal assistant M Prabhakar was bombarded with calls and queries as one of the sketches bore an uncanny resemblance to the PA.
The sketches including two different ones of a suspect were recreated based on an eyewitness account and CCTV footage.
Fed up of nuisance
However, what followed next was unexpected. Friends and supporters of Prabhakar started calling him up and informing him that one of the suspects resembled him.
The countless phone calls and queries left Prabahakar vexed.
"I am numb. I don't know if I should protest. All I am worried is that how can I stop this nuisance of people asking me all sorts of questions," Prabhakar was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
The constant phone calls and messages from people who know Prabhakar have led him to even consider the option filing a defamation suit against those who call him and ask him unnecessary questions.
"I am recording the calls I am receiving and will take action against those who harass me. I don't want even media calls in this regard," an exasperated Prabhakar said.
MLA Suresh Gowda reacts
Meanwhile, Suresh Gowda has criticised the uncanny resemblance. "It is not just unfair to the innocent person, but (it's) a serious lapse. Such comedy of errors carries the potential to derail probe and delay justice delivery," said MLA Suresh Gowda.
The MLA also clarified that Prabhakar was with him on September 5, when Lankesh was shot dead in her Rajarajeshwari Nagar residence. Gowda said that Prabhakar was attending a BJP protest in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Tumakuru to demand Hemavathi river water for the district.
"Gauri is said to have been killed around 8 pm on September 5. I was in Tumkur at that time. I feel strange that I've to even give this explanation," said Prabhakar.
The police who released the sketches after 38 days of investigation have also been left embarrassed due to the uncanny resemblances between the suspect and Gowda's PA.
"They are an approximation, not actual photographs. If they resemble someone who has nothing to do with the case, then we will verify it," SIT chief BK Singh told TOI.