Journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bengaluru, protests across Karnataka
Renowned Kannada journalist and editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. Unknown assailants are said to have opened fire at the journalist outside her house at around 8 PM. The attack is eerily similar to the assault on rationalist M M Kalburgi in Karnataka.
Gauri Lankesh's body was sent for an autopsy to Victoria hospital in Bengaluru. Post noon on Wednesday, her mortal remains were shifted for public viewing to Bayalu Ranga Mandira in Bengaluru's Ravindra Kalakshetra. Friends, family, politicos, colleagues poured in dozens to pay their last respects to the slain journalist.
"She was shot dead outside her residence. The local police were intimated by the neighbours. There are CCTV cameras installed at Gauri Lankesh's residence and we will scrutinize the same. Her body has been sent for autopsy and further details will emerge from the report. We have found four empty cartridges but we have to await post mortem reports to ascertain the number of shots fired," said Suneel Kumar, Bengaluru police commissioner.
"Initial information suggests that Gauri Lankesh was entering her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar when miscreants shot at her. Neighbours heard the gunshots and rushed out. The identity of the assailants is yet to be established," Malini Krishnamoorthy, Additional Commissioner, West told OneIndia.
Assailants in a vehicle are said to have opened fire at the journalist and fled the scene. A prominent left thinker, Gauri Lankesh has been a strong voice against the RSS and right wing ideology. She has written extensively about naxalism and has often been accused of being a Naxal-sympathiser.
Home Minister of Karnataka Ramalinga Reddy said that Gauri did not have any threats. "Within a span of one minute, about seven rounds seem to have been shot in close range. She was attacked when she was outside her residence. She had not sought any protection and hence security was not given. It is unclear if anyone including domestic helps were at the residence," Ramalinga Reddy said.
Protests over Gauri's murder, scribes call for protest
Journalists, politicians, academicians, activists across the country have condemned the brutal murder of Gauri Lankesh. Protests were witnessed in Rajarajeshwari Nagar where she was shot dead. Similar protests were seen in Bengaluru's Town Hall, Mandya, Dharwad etc. Protestors demanded justice for Lankesh as well as M M Kalburgi who was shot dead in a similar fashion. Journalists across the country have called for a protest condemning the murder on Wednesday. Journalists in various cities will come together to show solidarity with Lankesh's family and demand speedy investigation.
Condolences poured in for the slain journalist with politicians, activits and intellectuals hailing her undying spirit.
Shocked to learn abt murder of tall progressive force & senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. Such cold blooded acts deserve highest condemnation— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) September 5, 2017
The truth will never be silenced. Gauri Lankesh lives on in our hearts. My condolences &love to her family. The culprits have to be punished— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) September 5, 2017
I strongly condemn the murder of Journalist Gauri Lankesh. Let Police conduct impartial enquiry on the murder.— Sadananda Gowda (@DVSBJP) September 5, 2017
Gauri Lankesh was the editor of weekly tabloid magazine Lankesh Patrike, a columnist in newspapers, a panelist on TV channels besides being an activist. Lankesh was critical of the Hindutva brigade and was last year convicted in a defamation case filed by MP Pralhad Joshi who had objected to a report against BJP leaders.
She is the second scholar-rationalist to be assassinated in Karnataka in less than two years after former vice-chancellor of Hampi University M M Kalburgi.