BJP MLA from Karnataka, DN Jeevaraj, on Thursday generated much controversy by stating that senior journalist, Gauri Lankesh, was killed for writing against the right wingers.
While flagging off a BJP Yuva Morcha rally, Jeevaraj suggested that Gauri was killed because she published a story with the headline “Chaddigala Marana Homa (the last rites of the short pants or the RSS)”, The Indian Express reported.
Lankesh was killed at her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday evening. She was a well-known critic of the right-wing, who took three bullets to the chest after four unknown assailants fired seven rounds at her outside her home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.
In the video accessed by India Today, Jeevaraj is heard saying, “We have seen how RSS workers have lost their lives during Congress rule. Gauri Lankesh had written in her paper about ‘chaddigala marana homa’ or the slaughter of the RSS. Now, had she refrained from writing such articles she would have been alive today. Gauri is like a sister to me but the way she has written against us (BJP and Sangh), is unacceptable”.
Jeevraj also hit out at the language Lankesh had used in her article. “If she had not written ‘chaddis maarana homa’ in her paper that day, would she still be alive today?” he asked, according to a report in The News Minute.
His statement has provoked strong condemnation.
Reacting to his comments, chief minister, Siddaramaiah, said, “What do you make out of his statement? Does it indicate who is behind this murder?” The Indian Express reported. A group of Congress workers in Sringeri also filed a police complaint against him.
However, Jeevraj said that his words had been misunderstood and “misinterpreted” by the media, reported The Hindu. The report quotes Jeevraj as saying, “I said if Gauri Lankesh had criticised the killings and if Siddaramaiah had put all those involved in the crime behind bars, nobody would have dared to kill her today. I just wanted to express that the failure of the government with regard to previous murders. Besides that, I have expressed condolences for her murder.”