BENGALURU: Noted journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her residence in Rajarajeshwarinagar in the city on Tuesday night. Unidentified assailants shot her dead at her residence, according to the initial accounts by the police. She was 55 years old.
Karnataka's new Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who rushed to the spot with the city Police Commissioner, told reporters that the assailants probably fired seven rounds.
"Within minutes, seven rounds were fired at close range. She was attacked outside her residence. As she had not sought police protection, no security was provided to her," Reddy said.
Coming from an eminent family of journalists and theatre persons, she was the daughter of the legendary P Lankesh, who started the influential Lankesh Patrike, the first Kannada tabloid. Her siblings, Kavitha and Indrajit are also films and theatre.
Lankesh, in her 50s, edited a Kannada tabloid 'Gauri Lankesh Patrike' besides owning some other publications. She was a fierce activist when it came to rights of dalits or the poor. Earlier, she was involved in the rehabilitation of Naxals who were attempting to return to mainstream life.
An anti-establishment figure, she was recently found guilty of defamation against two BJP leaders in Hubballi.
Her killing by shooting is reminiscent of the killings of rationalists M M Kalaburagi in August 2015 and Narendra Dabholkar in August 2013.
In March of this year, Yogesh Master, known as a progressive writer was blackened in the face by right wing activists at a function organised by Gauri in memory of her father.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah condemned the crime. "Absolutely shocked to learn about the murder of renowned journalist Gauri Lankesh. I have no words to condemn this heinous crime," he tweeted.
"Gauri was an advocate of secularism. She fought against injustice," he told the media here.
"Police has formed three teams and begun investigations," Siddaramaiah said, adding that he had directed police to nab the killers at the earliest.
(with inputs from IANS, PTI)