Gauri Lankesh murder protests highlights: Slain journalist laid to rest with State honours

The 55-year-old editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike was shot dead by unidentified assailants at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru West on Tuesday evening. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 6, 2017 7:57 pm
gauri lankesh, gauri lankesh murder, gauri lankesh shot, gauri lankesh killed, journalist killed, gauri lankesh protests, Gauri Lankesh. (Source – Twitter)

A day after senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru, protests taken across the country by civil society activists and journalist associations across the country. The 55-year-old editor of ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’ was shot dead by unidentified assailants at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru West on Tuesday evening. Four bullets were pumped into her chest from a close range at her doorstep after she had stepped out of her car and opened the gates to her home, which lay in darkness, at around 8 pm.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an Inspector General (IG) which would probe the killing. “This is a shocking news for me also. It is a great loss. She met me recently but never spoke about any threats,”  Siddaramaiah said. “I have instructed the police that activists propagating progressive thoughts should be given police protection,” he added.

Members of the literary community spoke out strongly against the murder, calling it an attempt to “silence those who believe in democracy and decency”. Historian Ramachandra Guha said Lankesh’s murder was “part of a pattern that links the deaths of (Narendra) Dabholkar, (M M) Kalburgi and (Govind) Pansare”.

Here are the highlights: 

7:49 pm: The body of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was laid to rest with state honours according to PTI. As the body was laid to rest in the Lingayat burial ground in the crematorium, slogans like ‘Gauri Lankesh Amar Rahe’ and ‘Gauri Lankesh Zindabad’ filled the air.

7:03 pm: Speaking to Indian Express Online, Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, “The murder of Gauri Lankesh is tragic. She was a brave journalist who was raising her voice against the environment of communal fascism which is growing in the country. This kind of violence is unfortunately being encouraged by those in power. This is very dangerous for democracy and needs to be stopped immediately.”

6:56 pm: Protests condemning the murder are taking place in different parts of the country.

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6:11 pm: IIMC Alumni Association has demanded court monitored SIT probe into the murder.

gauri lankesh, gauri lankesh murder, gauri lankesh shot, gauri lankesh killed, journalist killed, gauri lankesh protests, IIMCAA has also demanded that the state government takes prompt actions against the culprits.

5:45 pm: Condemning the killing, Press Club of Bengaluru president Sadashiva Shenoy said, “Divisive forces cannot muzzle the liberal voices by resorting to killing. We demand that a judicial committee should be constituted headed by a sitting High Court judge to probe the brutal killing,” he said according to a report in PTI. He also said that the Press Club of Bengaluru will form a committee to mount pressure on the government for a speedy investigation of the case.

5:42 pm: Journalists in Karnataka took out a march from the Press Club to the Vidhana Soudha legislature and submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah seeking immediate action to bring the culprits to book. “We strongly believe that such silencing methods are an attempt of divisive forces in a democratic system to stifle the media,” the memorandum said.

5:24 pm: S Suresh Kumar, BJP leader from Karnataka said, “Indrajit Lankesh, Gauri Lankesh’s brother urged state government to hand over investigation to CBI, we also demand the same,” as quoted by ANI.

4:28 pm: “The Politburo strongly condemns the cold-blooded murder…. This killing, fits into a by now familiar pattern of eliminating voices that dare to speak out against the current climate of hate and intolerance by the RSS/BJP,” the CPI(M) said in a statement. The party also said that the killing is ‘interconnected’ with the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi. “All of them were vociferous in their opposition to superstition, obscurantism and the perpetuation of the communal agenda by the rightwing Hindutva forces,” it said.

4:00 pm: State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party B.S. Yeddyurappa took to twitter to condemn the killing. He said, “Shocked to hear the murder of #GowriLankesh strongly condemn this inhuman barbaric murder. Law  and Order in the state has completely collapsed.”

3:36 pm: The journalists in Bhopal, Hyderabad, Kerala condemned the killing of Kannada scribe-activist Gauri Lankesh and demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

3:25 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi condemned the incident saying, it was a chilling reminder that “intolerance and bigotry is raising its ugly head in our society”. “The series of killings of rationalists, free thinkers and journalists in the country has created an atmosphere that dissent, ideological differences and divergence of views can endanger our lives. This cannot be and should not be tolerated.”

3:10 pm: Prakash Javadekar, who is the in-charge of BJP affairs in Karnataka said, “Want immediate investigation into Gauri Lankesh’s murder, culprits should be caught.”

3:08 pm: Gauri Lankesh’s murder “raises alarm” about the state of freedom of expression in the country, Amnesty International India said. “Critical journalists and activists have increasingly faced threats and attacks across India in recent years. State governments must act to protect those whose voices of dissent are being silenced,” Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India, said.

3:02 pm: US embassy condemned the killing of Gauri Lankesh saying, “The US Mission in India joins advocates of press freedom in India and worldwide in condemning the murder of respected journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru. We offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Ms. Lankesh.”

gauri lankesh, gauri lankesh murder, gauri lankesh shot, gauri lankesh killed, journalist killed, gauri lankesh protests, Media persons from across the state gather at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to stand in solidarity with Gauri Lankesh. Express Photo Javed Raja

2:11 pm: The Indian Writers’ Forum pledged to continue Gauri Lankesh’s fight against the “haters of free speech and a plural India”, news agency PTI reported.

2:07 pm: CM Siddaramaiah meets Gauri Lankesh’s family.

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1:50 pm: Mamata Banerjee condemned the killing.

1:36 pm: CM Siddaramaiah arrives at Ravindra Kala Kshethra.

1:31 pm: Family members & friends gather as mortal remains of Gauri Lankesh have been brought to Ravindra Kala Kshethra in Bengaluru.

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1:27 pm: Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that the officials are collecting evidence; will have to wait for sometime

1:20 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh instructs Home Secretary to seek report on murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh from Karnataka Government.

1:07 pm: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah chairs meeting with top Police officials of the state to discuss Gauri Lankesh murder case.

12: 49 pm: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said that the case must be taken seriously and be investigated by special team. It should include SIT headed by senior officer. He also said, ” It is true that it is an organised crime, let the Police look into it.”

12: 48 pm: Mortal remains of Gauri Lankesh being taken to Ravindra Kala Kshethra

12:46 pm: Nitin Gadkari while replying to Rahul Gandhi’s statement, said that the allegations are baseless and BJP has nothing to do with Gauri Lankesh’s murder.  It is Congress responsibility to maintain law and order. He said, “It is shameful because PM is of the country, he does not belong to any party.”

gauri lankesh, gauri lankesh murder, gauri lankesh shot, gauri lankesh killed, journalist killed, gauri lankesh protests, Congress VP Rahul Gandhi meeting with all india Fisherman Congress at AICC office in new Delhi on Wednesday Express photo by Prem nath Pandey 09 sep 17

12.35 pm: On being questioned whether the case would be handed over to CBI, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said that he has left it to DGP, who who speak to the Home Minister and decide upon it. “She met me recently but never spoke about any threats,” he said.

12.30 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is currently addressing a press conference. He said that he has instructed police to give protection to activists “propagating progressive thoughts”.

12.25 pm: Earlier in the day, Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles and Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani had also condemned the activist’s murder, expressing hope for a speedy investigation.

12:15 pm: Targeting BJP, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said, “Anybody who speaks against ideology of BJP-RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.” Calling PM Narendra Modi a “skilled Hindutva politician”, he said that the PM’s words have two meanings. “One meaning is for his base, and a different one for the world,” he said.

12 pm: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi condemned the murder of Lankesh. He said that he has spoken to the Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah and mentioned that the people who are behind this must be caught and punished.

11.45 am: A protest is underway at Town Hall in Bengaluru against the brutal murder of the senior journalist. People are sitting outside the Town Hall with placards in their hands.

gauri lankesh, gauri lankesh murder, gauri lankesh shot, gauri lankesh killed, journalist killed, gauri lankesh protests, Express photo by Javed Raja

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