Kochi: The Congress high command has directed the party-led Karnataka government to conduct a "strong" probe into the killing of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal said on Thursday.
"The party high command has directed the state government to conduct a strong probe into the incident, book the guilty and ensure them stringent punishment as per law.. Strong steps have to be taken in this direction," Venugopal told PTI.
The Congress leader said he had conveyed this message of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to chief minister Siddaramaiah and state home minister during his talks with them.
Venugopal, who is also a senior Lok Sabha MP, alleged that not a single senior BJP leader in the state had attended the funeral of Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Her body was buried on Wednesday in Bengaluru.
"Gauri Lankesh was murdered as she dissented against prevailing atmosphere of hate and intolerance in the country..Those who resist the move by the communal forces to divide the country in the name of religion are being targeted, he said.
"The aim of such forces is to weaken our country by demolishing its democratic set up," he alleged.
The Karnataka government had Wednesday decided to form a special investigation team to probe the killing of Gauri Lankesh, which has sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
Siddaramaiah has announced the SIT probe headed by a inspector general level officer, saying his government had an "open mind" to an investigation by the CBI, a demand made by the slain journalist's family.
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Updated Date: Sep 07, 2017 14:44:21 IST