It was a great shock for the people as news of the killing of journalist-activist-writer Gauri Lankesh spread late Tuesday evening. She was shot dead at her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, southwest Bengaluru, on Tuesday night.
The cold-blooded killing of this 55-year-old journalist, writer, and activist who took right wing politics head-on in Karnataka brought back memories of the murders of Kannada writer-thinker MM Kalburgi in Dharwad in 2015, communist leader Govind Pansare the same year in Kolhapur, and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in 2013.
Gauri, returning home from work, was gunned down by three men on a two-wheeler between 7.45pm and 8 pm in front of her home on Loop Road, II Cross, Ideal Homes, RR Nagar, police said.
“Usually, she would drive back home late at night. Today, she returned earlier and we heard gunshots and rushed out. For a few minutes, we could not understand what had happened. Then, we realized Gauri had been shot and she was lying in a pool of blood near the door of her house,” a neighbor told police.
“Gauri’s killing has parallels with Kalburgi’s. We’ve formed three teams to hunt the killers. She had called me last Thursday and said she wanted to meet me. She was to meet me on Monday, but she never turned up. She had received no threat calls,” home minister Ramalinga Reddy told reporters.
“A neighbor, hearing the cracker-like sound, came out and saw Gauri lying in a pool of blood. Four empty cartridges were recovered from near her body. According to family members, Gauri was living alone in the house. There are two CCTV cameras installed outside Gauri’s house,” police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said, adding: “The motive not known.”