Senior journalist and publisher Gauri Lankesh died in a hail of gunfire at her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday evening, police investigating the case said. Lankesh, a well-known critic of the right wing, took three bullets to her chest after four unknown assailants fired seven rounds at her in her home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.
"We are checking CCTV footages. We can't comment on anything. We are looking at a number of options as to who could have committed the crime," Bengaluru police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said in a brief, telephonic conversation.
Sources in Bengaluru said that the CCTV footage of the entire Rajarajeshwari nagar and roads leading into it were acquired by the police to find the culprits.
Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy said three investigation teams have been formed to look into the murder of Lankesh, who was known for her opposition to the right wing groups, especially the RSS and the Bajrang Dal. Lankesh had been a bitter critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bellary brothers, blamed for large scale illegal mining across the state.
In November 2016, she was sentenced to six months in jail after a defamation case was filed against her for a report against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. Time and again, she would protest what he felt were divisive moves of the right wing, she had, among her supporters, the venerated actor Girish Karnad.
"The investigations have just begun. We can't say anything right now," a senior police official said in a telephonic interview. Gauri Lankesh was the editor of weekly tabloid magazine Lankesh Patrike, columnist in newspapers, a panelist on TV channels besides being an activist.
Lankesh was critical of the Hindutva brigade and was last year convicted in a defamation case filed by MP Pralhad Joshi who had objected to a report against BJP leaders. Lankesh's brother Indrajit told India Today that the case should be handed over to CBI as she had several defamation cases against her.
The case is reminiscent of murder cases of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. Dabholkar was shot on 20 August, 2013, in Pune, while Pansare was shot on 16 February in Kolhapur and died on 20 February, 2015. Fingers have been raised on radical Hindu outfits.
Updated Date: Sep 06, 2017 08:29:58 IST