BENGALURU: Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence over the murder of senior Kannada editor and activist Gauri Lankesh, popular south Indian actor Prakash Raj said it was "disappointing" to see the PM follow those celebrating Lankesh's murder on social media.
"Gauri's killers have not been caught yet. But what is more disappointing is people celebrating her murder over social media spreading hatred," Raj said on Sunday speaking at the 11th state meet of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) held in Bengaluru.
"Some of these people who celebrated her (Gauri's) murder are followed by our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) on Twitter. We have a PM who shuts his eyes to this," he said.
Immediately hitting out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Raj said, "When you look at the kind of statements he (Adityanath) makes, you don't understand whether he's a Chief Minister or a priest."
"He (Adityanath) is a better actor than me. I think I must give out all my five national awards to him," he said on a sarcastic note.
Clarifying Raj's statement, Muneer Katipalla, the state president of DYFI told IANS here: "It was only a satirical comment that Prakash Raj made referring to how Adityanath was trying to act like a Chief Minister."
Raj, however, did not respond to attempts by IANS to contact him to verify if he really plans to return his national awards.
Raj, a popular actor in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries, has won five National Film Awards for his movies.
The 55-year-old editor of Kannada weekly tabloid by her name "Gauri Lankesh Patrike" was gunned down by unidentified men outside her home in the city suburbs on September 5.
The Special Investigation Team set up to probe the murder is yet to nab her killers.