The US embassy on Wednesday condemned the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. In a statement released on its website, the US embassy said, “The US Mission in India joins advocates of press freedom in India and world-wide 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.”
According to police, four bullets were pumped into Lankesh when she had stepped out of her car near her residence last night. Her neighbours, who heard the gunshots, saw Lankesh collapse in her veranda near the entrance of her house. “We found Gauri Lankesh lying in a pool of blood; found four empty cartridges from the scene of offence,” said Bangalore commissioner of police, T. Suneel Kumar. He also added there is no clarity on the number of assailants who had fired at her. Read | Gauri Lankesh murder: The enemy within
Amnesty International India, in a statement, said the murder “raises alarm” about the state of freedom of expression in the country. “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,” said Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India. Read | Gauri Lankesh on last day: Rohingya tragedy, gay rights, Gorakhpur deaths
Known for her intrepid attitude, Lankesh was the editor of Kanada weekly tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike. She was vocal about her strident opposition to Hindutva fundamentalists, caste differences and gender-based injustices. Lankesh was also convicted in a defamation case filed by BJP MP Prahlad Joshi over an article published by her.