FMP Condemns Killing of Editor Gauri Lankesh. Demands That the Karnataka Govt Swifty Nab the Hitmen, Suspects Hindutva Radicals

September 05, 2017

Gauri Lankesh, editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada anti-establishment weekly opposed to communal politics in general and Hindutva in particular, was shot dead at her house in Bengaluru on 5 September. 


Gauri Lankesh, a fearless critic of communal politics, was shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru this evening. News reports said seven bullets were fired at her and three found their mark: two entered her chest and one her forehead. The end came at about 8 pm.  She was aged 55.

According to news agency PTI Karnataka police chief R K Dutta said Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified assailants at the entrance of her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.

Dutta told the agency Lankesh had not apprehended a threat to her life during the meetings he had with her.  He did not say when she had last met him. He refused to guess the identity of the killers and which group they belonged to.

Lankesh was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike an anti-establishment tabloid founded by her father, P Lankesh, an eminent theatre personality.

In November 2016, Lankesh was held guilty of two defamation cases involving BJP lawmaker Prahlad Joshi and was sentenced to six months in jail. She was out on bail.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said three police teams have been formed to investigate the murdert. "I have spoken to the police commissioner and the Director General of Police" news channel NDTV said quoting him.

“Modi Bhakts and the Hindutva brigade want me in jail,” Lankesh had told the website Newslaundry last November.

This was after she was convicted in two criminal defamation cases filed against her for a story she had published in 2008. In that story she had alleged that three Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had duped a jeweller of Rs 1 lakh.

Lankesh told the website the report was based on BJP sources and the defamation cases filed by Dharwad Member of Parliament, Pralhad Joshi, and BJP leader Umesh Dushi were not so much about the story as their dislike of her political worldview – one that is decidedly Left-leaning.

The Foundation for Media Professionals condemns the killing. It holds the Siddaramaiah government of failing to anticipate the attack,  despite earlier precedents .  It also holds the central government responsible for creating a culture of impunity where critics of Hindutva politics are targeted by hate groups. 

Twitter was abuzz with condemnations (as well as glee). 

Shocked to learn abt murder of tall progressive force & senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. Such cold blooded acts deserve highest condemnation

 Editor Rajdeep Sardesai said:

Barkha Dutta had the following to say:

The remembered Lankesh worrying about death threats. 

Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, said he was saddened and Lankesh's voice will not be silenced. 

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD of Biocon, said the killing was "blood-curdling." 

 India Today tweeted about protests planned across the country.