The bloody history of Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabhokar, the thinkers and writers who were killed for their views was repeated when a senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in Bangaluru just when she was entering her house on September 5 at about 8.30 pm. Three unidentified assailants fired at her from point blank range and fled the scene. The brutal killing set off an outcry by media persons and social activists who demanded the arrest of the culprits without any loss of time. She was the owner and publisher of a Kannada weekly Gauri Lankesh Patrika which was popular among the progressive and secular readers. She was also known for her vitriolic posts on Facebook. Usually she targeted Hindutva politics and the communal policies of the BJP. She took up the mantle of journalism from her father P Lankesh.
Besides being a journalist, she was a known social activist and took up causes of Dalits and downtrodden. She also contributed the social cause of bringing Naxals to mainstream. The Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah expressed his shock and grief and assured the culprits would be soon arrested. He said top police brass has been involved and three teams have been formed to hunt the criminals. Last year, she supported the government decision to organize Tipu Sultan celebrations which were diametrically opposed by the BJP. On that occasion, the BJP activists had burnt her effigy. She also was in favour of the Lingayat community’s demand to recognize it as a separate religious group.
The police intimated the Chief Minister that she never complained to them about any threat to her life.