Journalist Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist, activist and anti-establishment voice was shot dead in Bengaluru last night. She was fired at 7 times outside her house out of which 4 bullets hit her.
Renowned for speaking her mind, Lankesh had just stepped out of her car and opened the gates when the attackers fired at her. She was a staunch critic of Hindu right-wing and supported bringing Maoists to the mainstream.
“A total of seven bullets were fired out of which four missed the target and hit the wall of the house. Three bullets had hit her — two in her chest area and one in the forehead,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said.
Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra has agreed that there are similarities with the 2015 murder of renowned scholar MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead by two bikers at his doorstep in Dharwad, around 400 km from Bengaluru.
The men knocked on his door and when the 77-year-old Sahitya Akademi award winner opened it, shot him twice at point blank range. The two-year-old murder is yet to be solved. The links between the two murders cannot be ruled out, said Mr. Jayachandra.
Ms. Lankesh’s killing has triggered the feeling of grief and anger among fellow journalists, activists and several prominent voices who described it an attempt to silence “those who believe in democracy and decency”. Many protest meetings have been organized today across the country.
She had CCTV cameras installed outside her house which is being checked and investigated for any footage of the three men. One man has been detained by the Karnataka police for sending congratulatory messages on social media after the murder.
The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists expressed shock and anger at the dastardly killing of veteran Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru this evening. “Since last November, she has been fighting her conviction in a criminal defamation case against BJP MP in Dharwad Prahlad Joshi and was out on bail,” said the BUJ.