Week After Gauri Lankesh Murder, Bengaluru On Streets With 'I Am Gauri' Posters

Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru last week.

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Week After Gauri Lankesh Murder, Bengaluru On Streets With 'I Am Gauri' Posters

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On Tuesday, thousands gathered in Bengaluru for a protest rally in Gauri Lankesh's name.

Bengaluru:  It has been one week since journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru. A Special Investigation Team has been set up specifically for this case, but with no real breakthrough so far. There are fears it is going the way of the probe into the murder of MM Kalburgi, a rationalist shot outside his house in north Karnataka two years ago. But the impact of her death is still being strongly felt.

On Tuesday, thousands gathered in Bengaluru for a protest rally in her name. Writers, students, activists, concerned citizens marched from the city railway station to the Central College grounds. They were joined by activists from around the country, including Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

"Killing of individuals and mob lynching, both have really told us that whoever speaks out with strength, commitment and courage can't be spared by them because they feel scared by us," Ms Patkar told media persons at the Central College grounds.
 
gauri lankesh murder protest pti

Writers, students and left wing supporters at rally against murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru.

Protesters wore headbands saying 'I am Gauri' and carried posters and banners with the same message. "Why should there be hate? We are one people - whatever we think and whatever we say, violence is not the answer. Never," said writer Poile Sengupta, who has written a poem for Gauri.

"When I heard the news I was numb I didn't know how to react, didn't know how to say anything. This can happen to anybody else. So it is very important that we have to respond and express our feelings," artist Balan Nambiar told NDTV.

There have been no arrests in the case so far, as the Special Investigative Team focuses on grainy CCTV footage and examines possible links to the killing of Prof MM Kalburgi in a similar manner just over two years ago. Even that earlier case remains unsolved.
 
gauri lankesh murder protest pti

Protesters marched in huge numbers with 'I am Gauri' posters and headbands.

"I think it is the fact that there is a shrinking space for dissension right now in the country ...We are protesting that we should have the right to speak out against something and not just blindly accept things. I think that is exactly what we're here for today," a young student protester said.  

At the protests was another writer, KS Bhagwan who knows what it is like to be threatened. He has been provided protection by the state. "Of course security is given by Karnataka government on its own for which we are very thankful to them. It started the very next day of the assassination of Dr Kalburgi. In fact I was taken aback when I saw police near my door...," he told NDTV. In addition to Mr Bhagwan, other people considered to be possible targets of violence have now been provided security since the murder of Gauri.

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