Sep 07, 2017

Prominent Indian journalist killed

Prominent Indian journalist, publisher and outspoken critic of right-wing groups - Gauri Lankesh, was shot dead by unknown attackers in front of her home in the southern city of Bangalore on Tuesday.

She was 55.

The news of Lankesh's killing was met with shock and outrage, with journalists, civil society members and students across the country sharply condemning the murder.

"Gauri Lankesh was a known critic of the central government on key issues and had fearlessly expressed her views in the newspaper she edited, as well as in other forums," the Editors Guild of India said in a statement.

"Her killing is an ominous portent for dissent in democracy and a brutal assault on the freedom of the press."

A Special Investigating Team was tasked with probing Lankesh's murder.

On Wednesday, people in several Indian cities held candlelight vigils to pay tribute to Lankesh, while hundreds of mourners, including Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, attended her state funeral in Bangalore, the hub of India's IT industry.

Several groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), demanded a thorough investigation into the killing.

"India needs to address the problem of impunity in journalist murders and ensure the press can work freely," Steven Butler, CPJ Asia Program Coordinator, said from Washington, DC.

Born in Shivamogga district on January 29, 1962, Gauri studied in Bangalore, capital of Karnataka state, and New Delhi. She initially wanted to become a doctor, but later on decided to follow in the footsteps of her father.

Lankesh started her journalistic career with English newspaper Times of India. She took over her father's newspaper after his death in 2000 but started her own weekly publication, Gauri Lankesh Patrike [GLP] in 2005 following a feud with her brother.

The GLP did not accept advertisements and ran based on individual subscriptions.