6 September 2017

Indian journalist gunned down outside her home

A participant holds a placard with a photograph of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh at a protest demonstration against her killing in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.
An Indian journalist was fatally shot outside her home the southern city of Bangalore, the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.

The assailants fled on a motorcycle after spraying bullets at Gauri Lankesh on Tuesday night as she was leaving her car outside her home in the Karnataka state capital.

Police said they were searching for leads, but that it was too early to say who killed her. Top police officer R.K. Dutta said he had met Lankesh recently, but that she did not mention any threat to her life.


Members of Indian journalism associations expressed outrage and said they would protest Wednesday afternoon in New Delhi.

“The silencing of a journalist in this manner has dangerous portents for democracy,” the Indian Women’s Press Corps said in a statement.

Lankesh, 55, was the editor of the independent Kannada-language magazine “Lankesh Patrike.” In November, she was found guilty of defaming lawmakers from the governing Bharatiya Janata Party in a 2008 story. She said the case was politically motivated and vowed to challenge her conviction in a higher court.

India has seen a string of killings in recent years targeting independent journalists and critics of religious superstition, stoking worries about the rise of extremism and intolerance in the secular South Asian democracy.

In 2015, scholar Malleshappa M. Kalburgi was shot dead at his Bangalore home, following death threats from right-wing Hindu groups after he criticized idol worship and superstitious beliefs by Hindus.
Unidentified relatives of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh cry at her residence in Bangalore, India, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Police say a senior Indian journalist was fatally shot by unidentified attackers in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Police say the assailants pumped bullets into Gauri Lankesh on Tuesday as she left her car after reaching her home in Bangalore, the Karnataka state capital. The attackers fled the scene.


Earlier that year, Indian writer and anti-superstition crusader Govind Pansare was fatally shot while taking a walk with his wife near their home in western Maharashtra state. And in another daytime attack in 2013, two assailants killed anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar while he was out for a walk in the Maharashtra city of Pune.

Within hours of Lankesh’s killing Tuesday night, Indian politicians from all parties condemned the attack.

Karnataka Chief Minister Minister Siddaramaiah, the state’s highest elected official, called the death “shocking” and said three police teams were investigating.

(AP)                    
Participants hold placards as they listen to a speaker at a protest demonstration against the killing of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.
Participants hold placards as they listen to a speaker at a protest demonstration against the killing of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.
Journalists shout slogans at a protest demonstration against the killing of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 207. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.
Journalists shout slogans at a protest demonstration against the killing of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 207. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.          
A mourner shouts slogans next to the casket of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh placed for public viewing in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.
A mourner shouts slogans next to the casket of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh placed for public viewing in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The Indian journalist was gunned down outside her home the southern city of Bangalore — the latest in a string of deadly attacks targeting journalists or outspoken critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu politics.
An Indian police officer stands guard next to the car of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh in which she was traveling just before she was fatally shot Tuesday by unidentified attackers inside the premises of her residence, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The assailants pumped bullets into Gauri Lankesh as she left her car after reaching her home in Bangalore, the Karnataka state capital. The attackers fled the scene. A bullet mark is seen on the wall on the right.
An Indian police officer stands guard next to the car of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh in which she was traveling just before she was fatally shot Tuesday by unidentified attackers inside the premises of her residence, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The assailants pumped bullets into Gauri Lankesh as she left her car after reaching her home in Bangalore, the Karnataka state capital. The attackers fled the scene. A bullet mark is seen on the wall on the right.

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