Gauri Lankesh Murder: Siddaramaiah Orders SIT Probe

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah o said that the probe into the murder of veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh would be carried out by a Special Investigation Team led by the Inspector General of Police (IG).

As demands for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Gauri Lankesh’s murder grow, the Karnataka CM said he is open to rope in the central agency.

“A Special Investigative Team, headed by an IG will be constituted. I have given directions to DGP and IGP to constitute the SIT. The team will exclusively investigate this case,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.

Replying to a question, the chief minister refused to link Gauri’s murder with that of other progressive thinkers, rationalists like MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.

“Law and order in Karnataka is good. We have provided protection to all rationalists. I have instructed the police to give police protection to all free thinkers,”  he added. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had earlier called the murder an “assassination on democracy”.

There is outrage in Bengaluru over the cold-blooded murder of Gauri Lankesh. Journalists and common people have come out in open condemning and expressing shock over the incident. Journalists from across the country have also come together to denounce the killing and demanded a speedy probe.

“The Editors Guild of India is deeply shocked and strongly condemns the murder of Gauri Lankesh, senior journalist and Editor, Lankesh Patrike. Gauri Lankesh was a known critic of the Central government on key issues and had fearlessly expressed her views in the newspaper she edited as well as in other forums. Her killing is an ominous portent for dissent in democracy and a brutal assault on the freedom of the press. The Editors Guild of India demands that the Karnataka Government acts with alacrity to bring the culprits to justice apart from instituting a judicial probe into the killing,” a statement issued by Editors Guild of India said.

Gauri Lankesh, known for her progressive and fearless writing, was shot dead at close range by unknown assailants at her home in Bengaluru on Tuesday night.

The 55-year-old journalist had returned home in her car and was opening the gate when motorcycle-borne assailants fired at her indiscriminately, with two bullets hitting her in the chest and one on her forehead, video from the CCTV installed at the front door of her house showed. A man wearing a black jacket and helmet is shown firing at Gauri from a close range.