Lok Raj Correspondent, Sep 6, 2017
Gauri Lankesh, was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru yesterday night. She was a senior journalist, activist and had raised voices against the ruling establishment. The 55-year-old editor had stepped out of her car and opened the gates when the attackers fired at her seven times.
The attackers either followed Ms Lankesh on her way home from work or were hiding nearby, waiting for her to return.
The killing is reminiscent of the 2015 murder of renowned scholar MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead by two bikers at his doorstep in Dharwad, around 400 km from Bengaluru. The men knocked on his door and when the 77-year-old Sahitya Akademi award winner opened it, shot at point blank range. Investigation authorities are yet to bring the guilty to book.
There were two more similar killings in Maharashtra, that of Govind Pansare in 2015 and Narendra Dabholkar in 2013.
The killers have not been caught even after years despite persistent demands and petitions by people. People apprehend that the same forces are behind this killing also.
How can we have trust in a government, which through acts of commission and omission, has allowed increasingly fascist attacks on activists, thinkers and ordinary people? How can we tolerate a situation where people are murdered in cold blood because of what they say or write, or the way they dress, or what they eat or which religion they follow? How can we accept a situation where the Indian State and the NDA government which is managing it, have completely abdicated their duty to provide ‘Suraksha’ (protection) to the people of the country. On the contrary, they have encouraged anti-social forces to take law into their hands and liquidate anyone who criticises the establishment or do not fall in line with its prescriptions. Many people in society are working to get it rid of backward, unscientific thoughts and practices, which are perpetuated and spread by the rulers of today to carry on their rule. Under the guise of protecting ‘religion and culture’, rulers and their political parties are opposing all attempts to spread scientific temper in society.
Protests in Bengaluru
Protest in Hyderabad
Protest in Goa
Protests at Press club and India Gate, New Delhi
Protest action in Mumbai
Protest action in Thiruvananthpuram
Ms Lankesh’s killing has triggered widespread anger amongst journalists, activists and rights organisations. Many protest meetings have been organized today across the country.
Lok Raj Sangathan urges people to unite against all attempts to silence progressive people working for pro-people changes in society. It is only by getting organised and raising our voice that we can ensure that killers and the forces behind them are identified and held accountable for their crimes!