BJP, allied organisations not linked to Gauri Lankesh's murder: Nitin Gadkari

Randolph Lopez
September 6, 2017

"We learnt that the victim was shot dead from close range when she was standing at the gate of her house in Rajarajeswari Nagar (in the suburbs) around 8:30pm", a senior police officer at the Police Commissioner's Office said.

Lankesh, 55, editor of Kannada tabloid "Gauri Lankesh Patrike", had parked her vehicle outside the gate of her residence and was walking to the main entrance when the attackers fired at least seven rounds. "Courageous journalist Gauri Lankesh who exposed the BJP has been shot dead in her home in Bangalore!"

The assailants pumped bullets into Gauri Lankesh as she left her vehicle after reaching her home in Bangalore, the Karnataka state capital. She was the daughter of late poet-turned-journalist P Lankesh who launched "Lankesh Patrike" several decades ago.

"That's what was unique about Gauri", senior lawyer BT Venkatesh, who has handled cases for the murdered journalist, told NDTV.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, condemned the murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, saying that such murderous violence has an eerie pattern.

Union minister Smriti Irani also condemned the heinous crime, urging for a speedy justice.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ordered a high-level probe and condoled her death.

Karnataka police chief R K Dutta said Gauri had not voiced apprehension about any threat to her life during a couple of meetings he had with her. He said the Prime Minister could not react on everything. "We had the guts to publish this story, while mainstream papers shied away from it", she told Rediff in an interview in 2000.

Her last twitter message was about Supreme Court asking Center (Modi government) why it wants to deport Rohingya refugees.

"We will register a case of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and set up a special team to nab her killers", a police official said to news agencies. The killing of Kalburgi, one of the attacks that triggered the intolerance debate and the wave of returned awards, took place on August 30, 2015, but the case is yet to be solved. The neighbour also said they heard the sound of two scooters.

People who have known Ms Lankesh say she was a true democrat who criticised the system wherever she found fault so that it could improve.

Gauri started her own Kannada tabloid "Gauri Lankesh Patrike" in 2005 after quitting as editor of Lankesh Patrike following differences with her brother and paper's proprietor and publisher Indrajit. "Murder can not be justified", he further said. "Anybody who speaks against ideology of the BJP and the RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed".

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