Senior journalist and activist, Gauri Lankesh was killed by unidentified assailants at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru West on Tuesday evening. Reportedly, four bullets were fired into the editor of the Kannada weekly Lankesh Patrike at her doorstep. The incident happened at around 8 pm after she had stepped out of her car and opened the gates to her home.
Soon after the bullet was fired, neighbours came out of a flat opposite the home where the journalist lived alone. They initially thought it was sound of firecrackers but found Gauri lying in a pool of blood on her porch barely a metre away from the locked verandah to her house.
“Normally, she works late hours because she is a journalist. Today she seemed to have returned home earlier than usual,’’ a neighbour said, reported Indian Express.
“I just sat down for dinner when I heard the firecracker type of sounds. When I came out, there were people in all the balconies and the gate was lying open with a car waiting to enter. There was no one else around,’’ said Manohar a watchman at a nearby apartment.
“The incident happened at exactly 8 pm and four bullets were a fire in her chest,’’ a police inspector said.
Police are hoping that CCTV footage at her home may yield some clues to the identities of the killers.
Reportedly, she has faced a lot of threats as she opposed the right wing forces strongly. There were some incidents of theft at the home as well. In recent days, Gauri was actively involved in bringing persons involved with Naxal movement back into the mainstream with the help of the Karnataka government. She had maintained a good rapport with the chief minister, Siddaramaiah. Lankesh was also convicted in a defamation case over a news report from BJP MP Prahlad Joshi.
Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted, “Terrible news from Bengaluru about the heinous murder of Gauri Lankesh. I condemn all acts of violence against journalists.”
BJP national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao said, “The murder of Gauri Lankesh is condemnable outright. The onus is on Siddaramaiah to ensure a proper investigation.”