Gauri Lankesh murder: State funeral for slain journalist; killer seen in CCTV footage

Two people who had posted something on Facebook against Gauri Lankesh were being questioned, said Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

The body of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was laid to rest with state honours a day after she was gunned down by unidentified assailants, as the damp weather condition in the city matched the sombre mood. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, JD (S) MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, multi-lingual actor Prakash Raj, playwrights, theatre personalities, journalists and social activists were in attendance. Besides, a large number of people thronged the TR Mill crematorium to pay their last respect to Gauri.

Rains washing away their tears. 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. Rains could not dampen people’s respect for 55-year-old Gauri, known for her Left-leaning and anti-right wing stand. She was shot dead by motorcycle-borne assailants from close range at her residence here last evening. The killing has drawn widespread condemnation.

Journalists demand justice for Gauri Lankesh

Outraged over the gunning down of one of their own, Gauri Lankesh, prominent journalists gathered at Press Club of India in Delhi, and demanded justice amid a call for standing up to “forces” trying to the “muzzle” the voices of dissent.

Author and senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta termed it a “defining moment” in the history of Indian media.

“We are seeing the space for free-thinking shrinking. They want to silence the people who want to hold truth to power. We cannot remain silent, because that is what they want. Don’t keep quiet. That would be their success,” he said.

Senior journalist Manini Chatterjee said, “Regardless of legislative majority, certain rights should be inviolable.”

Earlier, the Press Club of India had strongly condemned the killing, saying, “A fearless and independent journalist who gave voice to many causes and always stood up for justice has been shot dead in the most brutal manner in order to silence her voice.”

There have also been reactions from the BJP leadership:

Prakash Javadekar, in-charge of BJP affairs in Karnataka said: “We want immediate investigation into Gauri Lankesh murder, culprits should be caught.”

Nitin Gadkari reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s criticism: “Baseless allegations, we have nothing to with Gauri Lankesh murder. Onus to maintain law and order is on state govt, that is the Congress.” On Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on the PM, Gadkari said, “It is shameful because PM is of the country, he does not belong to any party.”

Smriti Irani also condemned the journalist’s killing. “Condemn killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. Hope speedy investigation is conducted and justice delivered. Condolences to the family,” the minister said on Twitter.


Rahul Gandhi slams BJP and RSS

Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and described him as “skilled Hindutva politician”, what he spoke had a different meaning for his base and another one for the world.

“No one can suppress the truth. The RSS and BJP ideology is trying to suppress the truth but this cannot happen in India,” he told reporters.

“Anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP-RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.”

“It is very sad that a journalist against fanaticism was killed. The entire country is with her. Truth cannot be suppressed,” he added.

Sonia Gandhi condemns killing:

“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,” Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.

“It is an extremely sad moment for our democracy and a chilling reminder of the fact that intolerance and bigotry is raising its ugly head in our society,” she said.

In condemning this debilitating attack, the Congress party stands as one with the rationalists, thinkers, journalists and the media fraternity, she said.

“Every possible measure should be taken to maintain a safe and secure atmosphere in the state,” she said.



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