Journalist Gauri Lankesh laid to rest with full state honors

Bengaluru: Hundreds of people including — actors, writers, activists and political leaders — paid tributes to journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh on September 6 evening as people gathered in several parts of the state and in the national capital to protest her murder.
Lankesh, 55, was a fierce advocate of secularism and often spoke against Hindu extremists. On September 5 evening, unidentified assailants shot her dead as she reached her home near Bengaluru. The motive of the murder is not known yet, and the state government ordered a special team to investigate the case.
Protests against her murder began shortly after her death, picking up pace early on September 6 when people started gathering outside the Town Hall.
Slogans were raised against right-wing groups and the current state government, which has been under criticism for slacking on the investigation into the murder of another secular activist, MM Kalburgi. Kalburgi was shot dead in a similar manner by gunman at the doorstep of his home in August 2015.
“She was killed because of her ideas, of this there is no doubt,” said writer Chandrashekhar Patil, who writes as Champa.
K Neela, a close associate of Lankesh, questioned the state government and its inability to stop such murders. “When we asked Siddaramaiah to ensure justice in the murder of Kalburgi, he only gave us assurances. But two years after the murder, the police is no closer to solving the case,” she said. “Maybe if that murder had been cracked we might not have seen this day,” Neela added.
A bevy of state government ministers were present at the site in addition to Lankesh’s family.
Speaking at the venue chief minister Siddaramaiah said he knew Lankesh well.
“Gauri was very aware of the legacy of her father [who ran the tabloid Lankesh Patrike] and she left her career in Delhi to take over the paper here, because she was certain that her father’s legacy had to be carried on,” said Chandan Gowda, a teacher at Azim Premji University, who knew Lankesh closely.
Gowda said Lankesh was not always as political as she became later in life. “She was idealist and never compromised on her ideals,” Gowda said.

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