BENGALURU: Braving the rain, thousands of people from different walks of life including writers, journalists, politicians, theatre and movie personalities, religious leaders and college students paid their last respects to journalist Gauri Lankesh at Ravindra Kalakshetra on Wednesday where her body was kept for public viewing for more than two hours.Amidst tight security, over 8,000 people bid farewell to Lankesh. Her sister Kavitha Lankesh was unconsonable. Other family members were also present.
One of the early visitors, centenarian and freedom figher H S Doreswamy, said there are various kinds writers including radical writers. “Murdering people over differences in ideology is not the solution. The government can prevent such incidents by talking to them,’’ he said. Though it was pouring outside, people waited in the long queue to pay their respects. Some had umbrellas, some used their duppattas and plastic chairs while others got drenched in the rain. “We were avid readers of P Lankesh’s writings. After his death, we started reading Gauri’s pieces. I never met her in person, unfortunately I have to see her like this,’’ Lakshmi from M S Ramaiah Nagar told Express.
Hundreds of people in the queue were carrying posters which read “I am also Gauri.’’ Slogans like ‘Gauri Amar Rahe’ and ‘Gauri Lankesh Zindabad’ were shouted. Noted theatre person and former Rajya Sabha member B Jayashree said they can silence one Gauri, but thousands of Gauris will be born. “Gauri might be dead. But her writing will not die. This unfortunate incident will give birth to many Gauris. People are sad and angry. One cannot assume that by killing one person, they can end radical thinkers,’’ Shwetha, from JP Nagar, said.
Actors Prakash Rai, Prakash Belawadi, Bhavana, Raghavendra Rajkumar, noted director T N Seetharam, Veerashaiva Mahasabha vice-president Thippanna, environmentalist Saalumarada Thimmakka, Dalit Sangharsha Samiti activists and others were present. Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree was on the stage till body was taken away. Later, the body of Gauri Lankesh was buried with a police guard of honour and gun salute at T R Mill Grounds in Chamarajapet on Wednesday afternoon. No rituals were performed. CM Siddaramaiah, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Health Minister K R Ramesh Kumar, Chamarajpet MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan attended.
Protests erupt across the nation
Bengaluru: Protests against journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder were held all over the country on Wednesday. In Bengaluru, kannada writers, activists and about a hundred citizens gathered in front of Town Hall around 10am to protest. Writers Chandrashekhar Patil (Champa), K Maralusiddappa, and activist K Neela were there too. Citizens held banners condemning the murder. Crowd raised slogans saying “I am Gauri, I am Kalburgi.” Protests were also held at Press Club and Mysore Bank Circle by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
Another protest was held near Lankesh’s residence at Rajarajeshwari Nagar. The Editors Guild of India gave a written statement condemning the murder. In Karnataka, protests were held at Mysuru, Mangaluru, Udupi, Mandya, Kalaburagi, Dharwad, Hubballi, Gadag. Protests also erupted in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Gorakhpur and Thiruvananthapuram among other places. In New Delhi, civil rights activists and people from other fields took part in the protest. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, author Githa Hariharan and JNU student Umar Khalid participated.