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Freedom of Speech in India: Journalist Gauri Lankesh murdered

Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her residence on Tuesday night. The activist had asked to meet with the state Home Minister just days ago but that meeting never took place.
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Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her residence on Tuesday night. The activist had asked to meet with the state Home Minister just days ago but that meeting never took place. Minister Ramalinga Reddy said “She didn't ask for security or complain about any threat to her life”.

A preliminary analysis of the four empty cartridges found at the crime scene has determined that a country-made 7.65 mm pistol was used in the killing. The police suspect that Ms Lankesh was shot by professional killers who had done a recce. Sources say footage extracted from two CCTVs at her home may have captured the attackers. The police have sought help to unlock the digital video recorder, which is password protected.

She worked as an editor in Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada weekly tabloid.  The 55 year old journalist was the daughter of a legendary Kannada journalist. Many of Ms Lankesh's friends see a pattern in her murder and that of Mr Kalburgi . "We feel it's one group or organisation that's carrying out these attacks against people who rationalists and anti-establishment," said senior lawyer BT Venkatesh, who had known Gauri Lankesh for the past 25 years.

This is not the first time that a journo has become a target of radical and corrupt groups. In the past, journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati was shot dead outside his residence for exposing the misdeeds of rapist Gurmeet Singh. The bereaved family of the ‘martyr’ still awaits justice for the gruesome killing of Chhatrapati, back in 2002. He ran a tabloid, ‘Poora Sacch’, which is now run by his son, Anshul Chhatrapati.

Freedom of speech has come at a very huge cost for these journalists. Sandeep Kothari, who was a freelance journalist, working on exposing a multi-crore illegal mining scam, was killed in a similar fashion by unknown assailants in his residence.

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Reviewed by:
Simran Bhullar
Published on 07-Sep-17
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