Gauri Lankesh Shot In Area Covered By CCTV At Her Home, Says Brother

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said three police teams have been formed to investigate the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

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Gauri Lankesh Shot In Area Covered By CCTV At Her Home, Says Brother

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Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home on Tuesday (file photo)

Bengaluru: 

Highlights

  1. Journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in Bengaluru last night
  2. Ms Lankesh was fired at 7 times outside her home, 4 bullets hit her
  3. The 55-year-old was found lying on her porch by neighbours
Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist, activist and anti-establishment voice, was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru last night by attackers who fired seven times at close range. Police suspect hired killers and her family believes the murder has been captured on one of the CCTVs closest to the porch where Ms Lankesh collapsed.

One of the killers is seen in what looks like a helmet and black clothes, a police source said.

Union Home Ministry has sought a report from Karnataka government on killing of the journalist.

"The CCTV camera (in the premises) has captured the whole incident... I am very confident that the culprits will be caught soon," Indrajit Lankesh, Gauri's brother and a filmmaker told reporters according to new agency PTI.

Ms Lankesh, renowned for speaking her mind, had stepped out of her car around 8 pm and opened the gates when she was shot. One bullet hit her in the forehead. Four bullets missed and hit the wall; those have been found.

The 55-year-old was found dead by neighbours who had first mistaken the gunshots for firecrackers. Some say they heard a two-wheeler around the same time.

The police have retrieved the password-protected digital video recorder from the two CCTVs Ms Lankesh installed for safety outside her home, which is flanked by two vacant plots.

The attackers either followed Ms Lankesh on her way home from work or were hiding nearby, waiting for her to return. The police say they have traced her route home and are trying to get clues from multiple CCTVs on the way.

Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra has agreed that there are similarities with the 2015 murder of renowned scholar MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead by two bikers who knocked on his door in Dharwad, around 400 km from Bengaluru. The two-year-old murder is yet to be solved. The links between the two murders cannot be ruled out, said Mr Jayachandra.

Ms Lankesh's murder has triggered an outpouring of grief and anger among journalists, activists and several prominent persons who described it an attempt to silence "those who believe in democracy and decency". Many protest meetings have been organized today across the country.

"Shocking and blood curdling to hear about the murder of Gauri Lankesh," tweeted Biocon's chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

"Grace. Integrity. Courage. The work will continue," her ex-husband and senior journalist Chidanand Rajghatta wrote in a moving tribute on Facebook.

Three police teams have been formed to investigate the murder.

Ms Lankesh was the older daughter of P Lankesh - a man who brought in a new brand of Kannada journalism. She followed in his footsteps, running her own Kannada paper with views that were never careful or circumspect. She was part of a group that worked for communal harmony. Her views were considered Leftist and anti-Hindutva.

She weathered fierce opposition and criticism of her journalism. In November 2016, she had been found guilty of defamation in a case involving BJP MP Prahlad Joshi and had been sentenced to six months in jail. She was out on bail.

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