Gauri Lankesh Murder: SIT Probe Begins; Family Says No Political Colour Please

The family of Gauri Lankesh, who was who was gunned down at her home on Bengaluru on Tuesday night, spoke against giving a 'political colour' to the incident.

Gauri Lankesh Murder: SIT Probe Begins; Family Says No Political Colour Please

Gauri Lankesh Murder: The family of the activist-journalist said it only wants justice. (PTI)

New Delhi:  A Special Investigation Team or SIT today scanned the CCTV footage of the scene of murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh for clues in the hunt for the killers. Meanwhile, the family of Ms Lankesh, who was who was gunned down at her home on Bengaluru on Tuesday night, spoke against giving a "political colour" to the incident. 

Ms Lankesh's siblings also appeared divided over the probe with her brother, Indrajit Lankesh, saying he would approach the CBI or a court if they do not get justice from investigations by the SIT.

"We are all together to get justice for our sister," he said. He said whether it is Naxals or right wing extremists behind the killing, the entire journalist fraternity needs an answer, as a journalist who stood for her values has been killed.

Meanwhile, Union minister Ramdas Athawale demanded that the killers be immediately arrested and hanged. He also said there was no need for levelling political allegations over the incident.

Protest rallies and candlelight vigils were also held for the second day today in several cities. "We need a CBI probe into the murder," said a student protester in Kolkata.

The Karnataka government yesterday announced the formation of a 21-member SIT headed by IGP (Intelligence) B K Singh to probe the killing that has led to a wave of countrywide protests and condemnation across the political spectrum.

"SIT members have started their investigation into the Gauri Lankesh murder case and the state government is hopeful of nabbing the assailants as soon as possible," Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said.

Asked whether police had given some hints on the ideological identity of the assailant based on prima facie evidence gathered by them, Mr Reddy said, "the duty of SIT members is to investigate and nab the assailants. They may have some prima facie evidence, but they have the prerogative of not making it public."

Asked if there was any political compulsion for deciding against a CBI probe, Mr Reddy said, "who said this? We are open-minded, and that is what Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said. If we feel the case is needed to be probed by CBI, we will hand over the case to it."

Ms Lankesh, who is known to be an anti-establishment voice with strident anti-right wing views, had returned home in her car and was opening the gate when motorcycle-borne assailants sprayed bullets at close range with two hitting her in the chest and one on her forehead, police had said.

The family also said the probe should look into all angles behind Ms Lankesh's killing, whether it is right wing or Naxals, as reports have emerged about possible Naxal hand other than suspected involvement of right wing extremists, the ideology that Ms Lankesh's had opposed throughout her life.

Asked about Rahul Gandhi's attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP and the RSS in connection with the killing, he said he did not want to comment on it.

"What we want is justice and please don't add political colour to it, add ideological colour if you want, because she stood for her ideologies," he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah reiterated that the government had an "open mind" on a CBI probe.

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