"Fringe Is Taking Over," Says Sister Of Murdered Journalist Gauri Lankesh

Parshuram Waghmare, a 26-year-old man arrested last Monday, was the one who pulled the trigger, killing journalist Gauri Lankesh, the police have said

Kavitha Lankesh, the sister of Gauri Lankesh, says "the fringe is no longer fringe".

Bengaluru: As the last of the six men accused in the murder of Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh got arrested, her younger sister Kavitha Lankesh expressed hope that maybe there would be some closure for her soon.

Parshuram Waghmare, a 26-year-old man arrested last Monday, was the one who pulled the trigger, the police have said. The journalist, who was the editor of Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead at the entrance of her Bengaluru residence in September last year.

Speaking of Parshuram Waghmare, Kavitha Lankesh said, "Sometimes I feel extreme hate. Sometimes I feel extreme pity".

Speaking to NDTV at her home in Bengaluru, Ms Lankesh blamed the people who "brainwashed" young, impressionable people like him.

"Putting hatred in people's heads is not patriotism," Ms Lankesh said. "The killers are unemployed, lower-strata person like Parshuram. They make them feel like they are in the army fighting for the country. Parashuram's parents I am sure had no idea of what he was doing. They must have thought he was devout."

Parshuram Waghmare and another arrested man, Naveen Kumar, appear to have connections to Pramod Muthalik, chief of the Karnataka-based right-wing group Sri Rama Sene.
gauri lankesh

Gauri Lankesh, editor of Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead at her Bengaluru house in September last year.

Pramod Muthalik has denied any knowledge of the murder plot, but his comment meant to defend Prime Minister Narendra Modi has upset Kavitha Lankesh. To those accusing PM Modi of failing to denounce the murder, Pramod Muthalik said, "Why should the Prime Minister react if some dog dies in Karnataka?"

"Pramod Muthalik is one of those poisoning people's minds. The dog comment shows his culture," Kavitha Lankesh said. "I am angry and want to call him names, but he doesn't deserve my time or anger. One can't even say they are behaving like animals. No animal is vicious like this."

Like Gauri Lankesh, her sister is a believer in free speech, but she says people who make comments like that should be "put inside". "The fringe is no longer fringe, it is taking over," she said. "Freedom of speech comes with responsibilities. They are influencing youngsters, saying 'go and kill'."

It is believed that Gauri Lankesh was killed for her political views and her sister says she always felt the far-right was behind the murder. 

"We all love Hinduism. It doesn't believe in killing," she said.

Ms Lankesh believes the case is close to being solved and hopes it will also shed light on the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Left leader Govind Pansare and Kannada writer MM Kalburagi. 

The loss, she said, will always be intensely personal. "I cry when strangers come up to me and tell me they are sorry. I can't ever get over Gauri. One day, I will stop crying," she added.
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