Gauri Lankesh murder: Special Investigation Team to investigate the case
A day after senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru, city police are going through CCTv footages to identify the assailants. Protests and condolence meeting have been planned across the city, condemning the killing.
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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, after meeting with Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy and senior police officials, told reporters that a Special Investigation Team headed by an IG-level officer would be constituted to exclusively investigate the murder of Gauri Lankesh.
While stating that it was too early to conclude who the attackers could be, he said he was confident that the case would be solved soon and assailants apprehended.
Protests continue across the country.
Reports S. Murali: Scribes led by Andhra Pradesh Union of Woking Journalists State General Secretary I.V. Subba Rao staged a dharna in Ongole. The journalists vowed to carry on a relentless struggle demanding the arrest of the assailants.
Amnesty International India, All India Democratic Women’s Association have also reacted to the killing. In a statement, Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India, said, “The killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh raises alarms about the state of Freedom of Expression in the country. Gauri Lankesh was never afraid of speaking truth. Her assassination must be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.”
AIDWA in its statement strongly condemned the ‘heinous and cold blooded murder’ of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. Such a serious crime being committed in the capital city of Bengaluru is alarming and outrageous. It underscores the complete lack of safety in homes and on the streets of a city which boasts of a significant presence of women professionals. The murder must be investigated effectively and with urgency, so that the culprits are caught and punished in an exemplary manner.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah calls an emergency meeting of police officials at the Secretariat.
Protest have been planned across the country. At Chennai, journalists came out on the streets to condemn the killing.
Journalists also staged a demonstration in Thiruvananthapuram. The protest was organised jointly by Kerala Union of Working Journalists and the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club.
A protest march was also held in Shivamogga city by the Shivamogga District Working Journalists Association. Addressing the protest meet, social activist Kadidal Shamanna termed the killing as an effort by reactionary forces to curb Freedom of Expression and the Right to Dissent.
Members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike held a candle light vigil early on Wednesday morning at Kittur Chennamma Circle in Hubballi condemning the murder.
Protest meetings will also be held at Hyderabad, New Delhi, Gujarat, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Lucknow and other parts of the country today.
Reactions and condolences pour in from all quarters. G. Rajashekhar, writer and literary critic, said “I can only describe her as an ideal journalist. She was bold. She was determined and ready to face any consequence. I think she was facing six to seven cases in the courts. She had told me once that she was getting hate mails. She knew she had a lot of enemies,” he said.
Stating that efforts are being made to foster a culture of silence, noted writer Vaidehi, said, “By killing someone you cannot silence anyone. If one goes, ten will take their place. The extremists should realise this.”
Protest against the killing of the journalist begins across the State. Hundreds gather at the Town Hall in Bengaluru to condemn the killing. Meanwhile, members of Mysuru District Journalists Association staged a demonstration in Mysuru to protest against the killing of the senior journalist. The association urged the State government to immediately nab the culprits behind the brutal killing.
Reacting to the killing, Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Textiles; and Information and Broadcasting, has said: “Condemn killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. Hope speedy investigation is conducted and justice delivered. Condolences to the family.”
The police are also verifying others CCTV footages from the area and those installed on the stretch from Gauri Lankesh’s office to her residence to ascertain whether the assailants followed her.
According to the Bengaluru City police, CCTV footage shows a man wearing a helmet following her towards her residence. He opened fire at her at close range and escaped with his associates, who were waiting outside the house on a bike.
Post-mortem is underway on the body of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru. The procedure may take another one and a half hours, as one bullet is yet to be retrieved. Doctors says an X-ray will be needed. According to Indrajit Lankesh, brother of Gauri Lankesh, her eyes have been donated.
Credit: The Hindu
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