EVEN AS the party condemned the killing of veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh, the murder has put the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka under the spotlight, as senior leaders on Tuesday afternoon said that mere promise of action by the chief minister was not enough. Siddaramaiah said he has spoken to the state DGP and instructed him to “ensure proper and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice”.
But some senior party leaders said that those words should be translated into action, and pointed to the “slow pace” of investigation into writer and rationalist M M Kalburgi’s murder in August 2015. A Congress leader, who did not want to be named, pointed out that Karnataka police is yet to make any arrest in connection with Kalburgi’s killing. “It’s been two years. I am told some organisations have started a day-and-night protest in Hubballi,” the party leader said.
AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who was in charge of the party’s Karnataka affairs until a few months ago, tweeted, “Karnataka Govt must come down strongly against such elements and must go all out to trace her murderers. Even Kalburgi’s murder case has not been solved as yet. Sad.” “The government should take all steps to arrest the culprits,” AICC general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP B K Hariprasad said.
“Dabholkar, Pansare, Kulbargi and now Gauri all killed by hard core religious fundamentalists and almost in a similar manner. Why? Because they were all hard core outspoken critics of Right Wing Religious Fundamentalists,” Singh tweeted.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “The truth will never be silenced. Gauri Lankesh lives on in our hearts. My condolences and love to her family. The culprits have to be punished.” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked who was behind the current “climate of hate” across the country. “The cold-blooded murder of Gauri Lankesh is reprehensible. Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi — such murderous violence has an eerie pattern. Who has fostered this climate of bigotry, hate, intolerance & violence in India that took her life today? Why was she such a threat to them?” he asked on Twitter.