BENGALURU: Journalist-turned-activist Gauri Lankesh, 55, was shot dead by unidentified men outside her residence in Rajarajeshwarinagar, West Bengaluru, on Tuesday night.

Preliminary reports say that three men on a motor bike opened at least seven rounds of fire on Gauri when she was unlocking her main door. While three bullets pierced Gauri’s head, neck, and chest, four bullets were sprayed on the walls. She died instantly, police said.

According to neighbours, Gauri was returning from her office when the murder took place. “Usually, she would drive back home late night. At around 8pm today, we heard gun shots and rushed out. For a few minutes, we could not understand what had happened. Then we realised that Gauri had been shot at and saw her lying in a pool of blood near the door,” neighbours said.

The Press Club of India strongly condemned the killing. “A fearless and independent journalist who gave voice to many causes and always stood up for justice has been shot dead in the most brutal manner in order to silence her voice,” the PCI said in a statement.

Lankesh was an outspoken critic of Hindutva politics, and edited a Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike besides owning some other publications.

By arrangement with The Times of India

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2017

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