BENGALURU: Three months since the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, the killers continue to evade justice. Yet, Gauri’s sister Kavitha Lankesh, a filmmaker, is confident that the guilty will be brought to book. She spoke to Express following a protest organised by activists in the city on Tuesday.
Q: It has been 90 days since the assassination of Gauri Lankesh. What were the demands made to the chief minister today?
All that we want to know is who the killers are and who are behind the killers? We have urged the government to expedite the probe and nab the guilty.
Q: Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had leads and arrests would be made shortly. Has there been any progress?
That is exactly the reason why we protested today. We have been saying that nothing is happening in connection with the probe. We want to know what is happening.
Q: Has SIT kept you updated regarding the progress of the probe?
Yes. IGP B K Singh (who heads the SIT) has been informing me about the progress of the probe. Though I feel that it is going in a positive way, sometimes we are caught between feelings. On one hand we are optimistic, while on the other we are worried that time is passing quickly without any progress. There should be pressure on the government and the SIT. We cannot sit quietly. Investigation has to be speeded up. Or else, it will soon be a year or two and the case will turn out to be like the murder of rationalist M M Kalburgi. It shouldn’t go that way.
Q: Does the delay in solving the case by the state SIT warrant a probe by central agencies such as CBI?
See, 15 cases have been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation by the Karnataka government in the past few years and nothing has happened. It is not that CBI will solve the case in a flash. SIT has made pathways into the case. However, we are getting impatient. They have been doing a lot of work and diligently working for the last three months. We have nothing against SIT.
Therefore, we cannot just assign it to the CBI and hope that they will restart the entire investigation at this point and nab the culprits.
The protest was to say that we are still waiting. Otherwise it will imply that we are all silent about the case.
Q: One of the reasons for SIT’s inability to solve the case so far was that its 21-member team had dwindled within weeks, with officers reporting back to their jurisdictional stations or offices. What’s your view on that?
In the beginning they needed a lot of groundwork to investigate phone calls and other information. Therefore, they needed a lot of people. Now, they don’t need so many people. So, the number of officials in the SIT has been reduced but the probe is continuing.
Q: Has the SIT explained the cause of delay in solving the case?
They cannot catch somebody without proper evidence. If so, then the whole investigation will fall flat on its face since there is no proper evidence. They are waiting to make a final decision. According to them it will be done in one week to 10 days. I am positive about that.