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Prominent Indian Journalist Killed Amid Growing Attacks on Dissent

07 September 2017

■ Lankesh, a writer, publisher and editor, had returned home in her auto and was opening the gate when she was shot, with two bullets hitting her in the chest and one on her forehead, police officials said.

Last night, as news broke of the cold-blooded murder of Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh, a chill ran down many spines.

Lankesh was the Editor of weekly tabloid magazine, Gauri Lankesh Patrike.

As the burial of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh took place in Bengaluru's Chamarajpet, a day after she was shot dead outside her own house, hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects.

Shabana Azmi: Gauri Lankesh shot dead outside her home.

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"Two persons had written something against Gauri on Facebook and the police is investigating it", the Chief Minister said.

A close friend of Lankesh, Chandan Gowda, said of her murdered friend, "She was an idealist and never compromised on her ideals".

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi blamed the RSS and the BJP for Gauri's murder as she was against their ideology.

While the Karnataka government has ordered a SIT probe into her death, the Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the state government on Gauri's death. "The team will exclusively investigate this case", Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, the BJP, which is also under fire after Gauri's murder refuted the allegations against it in connection with the Gauri Lankesh's murder.

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"We have nothing to do with the Gauri Lankesh incident", the transport minister said. Journalists took out a march from the Press Club to the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, and submitted a memorandum to Siddaramaiah, seeking immediate action to bring the culprits to book.

Today, as Ms Lankesh received a state funeral, around the country thousands of journalists came out to protest her murder.

Her murder bears a resemblance with earlier murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi.

While the Congress said "muzzling the voices of ordinary citizens and silencing dissent" was the slogan of "new India" under the Modi government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied any links between BJP and its allied organisations in Lankesh's killing.

At the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, journalists paid floral tributes to a portrait of the veteran editor and lit candles.

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"Keralites celebrating Onam, religious differences be damned! this is the reason why they call their "country" as "God's Own Country" (sic)", she had said. The Karnataka government has set up a Special Investigation Team to track down the killers, even as the family of the slain journalist have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe.

Prominent Indian Journalist Killed Amid Growing Attacks on Dissent