Gauri Lankesh silenced before she could expose corrupt Karnataka industrialists and politicians, claims friend

Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, shot dead on Tuesday night at her residence on the outskirts of Bengaluru, was reportedly contemplating a series of exposes on corrupt industrialists and politicians in Karnataka.

Shantanu Guha Ray September 06, 2017 13:18:41 IST
Gauri Lankesh silenced before she could expose corrupt Karnataka industrialists and politicians, claims friend

Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, shot dead on Tuesday night at her residence on the outskirts of Bengaluru, was reportedly contemplating a series of exposes on corrupt industrialists and politicians in Karnataka.

Sources close to the firebrand journalist said she had hinted about a series of such articles to some friends during a recent Delhi trip where she attended a seminar.

Gauri Lankesh silenced before she could expose corrupt Karnataka industrialists and politicians claims friend

A file image of Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh. PTI

“She was obviously silenced,” her friend said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

This individual, a classmate from the 1983-84 Class of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), said Lankesh repeatedly told friends repeatedly that she would continue to publish exposes because “that’s what a journalist is meant to do”.

But friends of Lankesh in Delhi said she, the editor of Lankesh Patrike, was aware of possible danger she could face if she went ahead with those investigative pieces, which she planned to coincide with the forthcoming Karnataka state elections.

Lankesh was also reportedly disturbed by the conflicting views held by some of her friends in Bengaluru and other parts of India. She allegedly told friends she would spend many sleepless nights wondering about “the divisive forces tearing apart India's secular fabric."

On 5 September, Lankesh tweeted:

Police claim this indicates Lankesh's uneasy state of mind.

A Kannadiga television channel has claimed that Lankesh was being followed by the killers for a few days before they killed her.

PublicTV claimed that the first attempt on Lankesh's life was made on 2 September.

Lankesh — the channel claimed — had been receiving blank calls.

The channel reportedly quoted police officers as stating that a white car was seen idling near Lankesh's home.

The channel claimed one of the attackers was waiting for Lankesh in the courtyard as three assailants followed her car on a motorcycle.

The police have asked two hackers to retrieve details of Lankesh's cellphones, which have been seized as evidence.

Even as Bengaluru police continue to remain mum about the case, a senior official from the office of police commissioner T Suneel Kumar told Firstpost that two senior officers were tasked with investigating the case.

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