Journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in Bengaluru last night. She was also an activist and was often called as a ‘Naxal sympathizer’. Here are 10 things about her murder.
1. Ms. Gauri Lankesh was known for her firebrand journalism and owned a Kannada weekly named Lankesh Patrike that was started by her father, P. Lankesh.
2. The 55- year old editor stepped out of her car at around 8pm on the night of September 5th. As soon as she reached near the gate of her society named Ideal Homes in Rajarajeshwari Nagar area of Bengaluru. The assailants, who the police suspect were following her, fired 8 shots at her.
3. Her neighbours found her lying in a pool of blood at around 8pm – they heard their shots when most of them were having dinner. Many of them had mistook the shots to be the sound of firecrackers at first.
4. Out of the 8 bullets that were fired, 3 bullets hit her. 2 hit her on the chest and 1 hit her on the temple. She died on the spot. Later on, four cartridges were found at the crime scene by the Bengaluru police.
5. The police suspect that the attackers were hiding near her home or had followed her from work. The police are also examining CCTV footage from the cameras that Ms. Lankesh had got installed outside her home but the area outside her home was not well-lit. An eye witness said that there were three assailants, who came on two-wheelers.
6. Ms. Lankesh who lived alone, wanted to meet the Home Minister of Karnataka, Ramalinga Reddy. As per Reddy, she did not turn up for the meeting.
7. Ms. Lankesh was often called as a ‘Naxal sympathizer’. Two cases of defamation were filed against her in 2016 for her anti-Hindutva pieces by two BJP MPs.
8. A Kannad TV channel has stated that Gauri Lankesh was being followed in the days preceding her murder. The Karnataka Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah said that one attacker was wearing a helmet. He also said that three police teams have been formed to investigate the murder.
9. The murder of Gauri Lankesh is being likened to the murder of another journalist, MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead by two bikers at his doorstep in Dharwad, around 400 km from Bengaluru in 2015. Similarities are being drawn in two other murders in Maharashtra – of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013 and of leftist thinker, Govind Pansare in 2015.
10. Ms. Lankesh’s brother Indrajit Lankesh has shown confidence that the culprits will be caught. Rahul Gandhi has asked the government of Karnataka to fast-track the investigation. People from various fields of politics, media and even the film industry have posted messages giving condolences, demanding justice for Gauri Lankesh.