Lankesh Gauri

The Economic Times writes: 

“Social activist and journalist, Gauri Lankesh, was shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru at 8:10 pm on Tuesday by unknown assailants. The killing comes two years after rationalist MM Kalburgi was shot dead in his home in Dharwad. Bengaluru police said three shots were fired on Lankesh, who opened the door to her assailants. Three other rounds were found in the walls of her house.

There is no information on the assailants, senior police officers said. DCP (West) MN Anucheth said “there has been a shootout at Gauri Lankesh’s house this evening. She is no more. Her body was found in her veranda.”

Kalburgi and Lankesh belong to the Lingayat community. Lankesh advocated a minority religion tag for the Lingayat community and insisted followers of philosopher-saint Basavanna were not Hindus.

Kalburgi’s assailants were suspected to be rightwing activists. His murder took place after rationalist Narendra Dhabolkar and activist Govind Pansare were killed. The Karnataka police have not made a breakthrough in the Kalburgi case and Gauri was one of the persons who persistently raised the issue.

She had no children but called JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and Gujarat Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani her ‘adopted sons’ and interacted with them extensively. The elder daughter of litterateur and journalist P Lankesh, she carried on his legacy and was the editor of his tabloid Lankesh Patrike after his death.

After a rift with her younger brother, she started her own tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, which she ran till her death. In the early stages of her career, Lankesh worked for several publications including the Times of India. She headed Komu Souharda Vedike (communal harmony platform), which worked with various oppressed communities. She also worked on rehabilitation and mainstreaming of surrendered Naxals.

Her social media posts were often outspoken. The last post on her Facebook page was from an online website about deportation of Rohingyas Muslims. Chief minister Siddaramaiah said, “This is an assassination on democracy.

In her passing, Karnataka has lost a strong and progressive voice and I have lost a friend.” BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa said, “It is a crime for which civilised society has to hang its head in shame. I hope the government takes quick action in finding and punishing the killers”

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Date of Killing:17/09/2005

Type of Work:Journalist/communicator

Organisation:Gauri Lankesh Patrike

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Freedom of Expression

More information:Front Line Defenders

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