Outrage, grief over Gauri Lankesh's brutal murder
Bengaluru: There was widespread outrage in Bengaluru on Wednesday over the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist and activist who was killed on Tuesday night at her home. Across the country, editors and others condemned the murder and expressed concern over what they described as a growing intolerance to dissent.
Hundreds gathered on Wednesday evening for a state funeral for the departed journalist.
The Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the killing of the senior journalist and activist.
Briefing reporters after a meeting with top police officials and state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the SIT would be headed by an Inspector General level officer.
The CM said four CCTVs had been installed at Gauri's residence - one near the car parking area, at the door, near the gate and at the rear portion. "One of the cameras has a video of Gauri getting off her car, opens the gate and goes inside. The assailant opens fire on her and she collapses after walking for a few feet," Siddaramaiah said. The assailant was wearing a helmet when he opened fire on her.
On demands by Gauri's family members for a CBI probe, Siddaramaiah said: "I am confident that the assailants will be nabbed. I am also open to CBI probe. If the family members are particular about it we will hand over the probe to CBI."
In an audacious attack, the 55-year-old Kannada journalist, known for her left-leaning outlook and forthright views against Hindutva politics, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence on Tuesday night.
Gauri had returned home in her car and was opening the gate when motorcycle-borne assailants fired at her indiscriminately, with two bullets hitting her in the chest and one on her forehead. She died instantaneously.
After working with The Times of India for its Bengaluru edition, 'Sunday' magazine and a Telugu television channel, Gauri took over the mantle from her father P Lankesh, a progressive writer, to run 'Lankesh Patrike'.
A family feud led her to start her own tabloid 'Gauri Lankesh Patrike' in 2005.
The Union Home Ministry sought a report from the Karnataka government on the murder.
The move came after Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to get a report from the state government, the home ministry official said.
I&B Minister Smriti Irani condemned the killing of Lankesh and hoped there would be a speedy investigation. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi also condemned the incident. While Sonia said it was a chilling reminder that "intolerance and bigotry are raising its ugly head in our society", Rahul expressed shock and said no one could suppress the truth.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday termed as "irresponsible, baseless and false" the allegations linking the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh to the BJP or people following its ideology.