An RSS swayamsevak and lawyer in Mumbai has filed a defamation case against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, party chief Sonia Gandhi and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury for allegedly linking journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder to the RSS.
The petition by Mumbai-based advocate Dhrutiman Joshi was filed on Friday in the Kurla magistrate’s court. Joshi has referred to statements attributed to Rahul and Yechury that were reported in the media in the days after the murder. Both were critical of the RSS and alleged the organisation’s ideology resulted in Lankesh’s murder.
Joshi said that the statements made by the two political leaders had belittled the “organisation in the eyes of the common public” and they tarnished the RSS’s image “without citing any proof”. Joshi said he was prompted to file the complaint after being personally affected by the statements. “After the comments were made, my friends told me my organisation’s ideology killed Gauri Lankesh,” he said.
Sanjay Nirupam, president, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, said the party would respond legally once the court serves a notice. Yechury said that at a meeting in Bengaluru following the killing, he had quoted a statement made by Sardar Patel. “I stand by that statement. Let them say what they want. I will fight it legally,” he said.