Bengaluru, September 5 (NDTV):: Gauri Lankesh, a senior leftist and anti-Hindutva journalist and activist, was shot dead outside her home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar here on Tuesday evening.
Police said her bullet-ridden body was found on the verandah of her home in West Bengaluru.
“We learnt that the victim was shot dead from close range when she was standing outside her house in Rajarajeswari Nagar (in the suburbs) around 8.00 p.m.,” a senior police officer said.
Ms Lankesh had just reached home and was about to enter when unidentified men shot at the 55-year-old journalist seven times from close range; three bullets hit her on the neck and chest.
Her body has been taken to the Victoria Hospital for a postmortem.
Gauri was the elder daughter of P Lankesh – a man who brought in a new brand of Kannada journalism. She followed in his footsteps, speaking her mind and running her own Kannada paper with views that were never careful or circumspect.
She was part of a group that worked for communal harmony. Her views were considered Leftist and anti-Hindutva.
She ran the weekly Gauri ‘Lankesh Patrike,’ a Kannada tabloid. Like her father, who was a noted Kannada writer, Gauri Lankesh faced opposition and criticism of her journalism.
In November 2016, she had been found guilty of defamation in a case involving BJP MP Prahlad Joshi and had been sentenced to six months in jail. She was out on bail.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said three police teams have been formed to investigate the murder of Gauri Lankesh and that the culprits must be caught.
“I have spoken to the police commissioner and the Director General of Police” said Mr Siddaramaiah.
The shooting has caused outrage on Twitter. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted: “Shocked to hear that the brave Journalist-Activist Gauri Lankesh has been shot dead in Bengaluru. Culprits should be nabbed at the earliest.”
“Shocking and blood curdling to hear about the murder of Gauri Lankesh. These monstrous criminals must be nailed n dealt with sternly,” tweeted Biocon’s chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
(The featured picture at the top shows journalist Gauri Lankesh)