Journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered outside her Bengaluru home
It has been three months since journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru and yet, there have been no arrests for the killing. Her name now seems to be a sad addition to the roll-call of unsolved murders of people - Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi - widely believed were killed for the views they had.
Personally, her death was shattering to her mother and two siblings. The paper she headed, Lankesh Patrike, now faces an uncertain future. In the tabloid, Ms Lankesh had shared her outspoken views, considered Leftist and anti-Hindutva by many.
Shadaksharappa, a writer, told NDTV at the launch of the Gauri Memorial Trust, "I am one of the persons who does not want the Gauri Lankesh paper to die. We should sustain. Somehow or other we should get together and sustain that paper."
Kavita Lankesh, Gauri's younger sister, said, "It is not just about the newspaper, I also intend to do that a little while later. But they want to do an award in her name, have at every district level, a Gauri festival to make sure her ideology, whatever she has been fighting for continues."
Politically, her death sharpened the divide in an election year. Gauri Lankesh supporters, seen largely as left of centre are certain the killers were from or hired by the right wing.
Apoorva, a student at the launch of the Trust said, "I believe that death of Gauri has got everything to do with destruction of secular fabric of this country and the reaction of Hindutva, right wing fringe groups has shown that they can go to any length and do not have any space for dialogue."
This assumption offends many, including Malavika Avinash, BJP spokesperson, who lives close to Ms Lankesh's home and was there that fatal night three months ago. She said, "There was that churning in my stomach when I heard of it - and when we actually saw her lying there, bullet-ridden. What a way for a friend to have died. I felt the churn further in my stomach when some of her friends arrive ... and when her body was being lifted and taken away from that compound, a lot of faces that were there were looking at me and saying... you killed her, you rightists, you killed her. That instant reaction of politicising the whole thing."
Socially, questions are inevitable as to whether we are now a society where people can literally get away with murder? There is an increased sense of vulnerability among those who speak out.
Activist Teesta Setalvad said, "Kalaburgi and Pansare ...and it is not just that, you have journalists being killed..."
Avinash Kashyap, a student, said, "People have actually lost the freedom to express and the press has lost its own sense of expressing its views and telling the news as news...Probably we lost the sensitivity of taking things seriously...This really show to what extent we are daily caring for our own journalists and to what extent we consider people's life important."