World

Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead outside Bangalore home

Kathmandu

Sep 6, 2017-A prominent Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics has been shot dead in the southern state of Karnataka, media reports said quoting Indian police.

Gauri Lankesh, 55, was found lying in a pool of blood on her doorstep in the city of Bangalore.

She was shot in the head and chest by gunmen on a motorcycle. The motive for the crime was not clear.

The most high profile Indian journalist murdered in recent years, Ms Lankesh was buried with full state honours, BBC reported.

The chief minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, was among those who attended the funeral.

There were also protests against her killing in several Indian cities, including the capital, Delhi.

Activists say journalists are being increasingly targeted by radical Hindu nationalists and her death is the latest in a string of assassinations targeting journalists and secularists critical of extreme Hindu nationalism and religious superstition in India. In 2015, scholar Malleshappa M. Kalburgi was shot dead at his home in Bangalore and earlier that same year politician and writer Govind Pansare was killed.

"The attack on the select writers is obviously happening because they are able to mould public opinion... there is a pattern in the way assailants come on motorbikes, kill, and vanish," Karnataka-based writer K Marulasiddappa told the BBC. "There cannot be any personal reasons attributed to her death because she had no personal enemies. So, the possibility is only political.''

Karnataka state's chief minister Siddaramaiah condemned the killing and promised a thorough investigation into the death of Lankesh, who he described on Twitter as a "progressive force."

At the time of her death, Lankesh was on bail appealing the verdict of a defamation case that had resulted in a six month jail sentence for a story on local leaders of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Her death has been widely condemned across India. Protests have been held in several cities including Bangalore, Mumbai and the capital, Delhi. More protests are planned for later today and over the coming days.

Karnataka state's Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was one of the first to respond to her death, calling it an "assassination on democracy".

Noted writer K Marulasiddappa told the BBC: "The attack on the select writers is obviously happening because they are able to mould public opinion... There is a pattern in the way assailants come on motorbikes, kill, and vanish."

"There cannot be any personal reasons attributed to her death because she had no personal enemies. So, the possibility is only political."

The news has made top headlines in Indian media, with editors and journalists condemning her murder and paying tribute to her work.

Published: 06-09-2017 19:37

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment