Breaking his silence on the murder of senior Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead at her residence on Tuesday night by three unidentified men; Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that it was too soon to say if the killing was part of any conspiracy or not. The CM also accepted that the killing was a clear case of organised crime.
“It is true that it is an organised crime, let the Police look into it,” he said.
The CM said that a special investigating team (SIT) headed by a senior police officer has been formed to lead the probe of the killing of the journalist
Addressing a press conference, Siddaramaiah said that he has met Gauri Lankesh recently but she never spoke about any threats to her life during the conversation.
He also said that the police have been instructed to provide protection to activists “propagating progressive thoughts” to avoid any such incident in the future.
“Instructed Police that activists propagating progressive thoughts should be given Police protection,” he said.
The CM also said that since the investigation was in its preliminary stage, it was difficult to ascertain any association with the murders of activist journalists Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar.
“Similar weapons used in Kalburgi, Pansare & Dabholkar killings, in this case, we don’t know yet so can’t draw link,” he said.
He also said that two people were found to have written something against Gauri Lankesh on the social media site Facebook. The police were questioning them in connection with the murder case, he added.
On being asked if the matter would be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for further probe, the CM said, “Left it to DGP who will speak to Home Minister and decide on it.”
Police have managed to secure the CCTV footage from the residence of 55-year-old journalist, Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead on Tuesday at around 7:30 PM. The CCTV footage shows the entire incident of how the journalist was followed and shot just outside her house.
According to reports, there is a possibility of the involvement of at least two assailants in the murder. The CCTV footage clearly shows one man wearing a helmet and following Gauri within her compound.
Just after a few steps, the assailant fires multiple rounds at Gauri, who tries to run from the spot but collapses at the gate of her residence.
It is being suggested as a premeditated murder as the two assailants were waiting at the crime scene for the senior journalist to arrive.
Gauri’s family members have said that she was receiving death threats for a long time and it was due to their insistence that CCTV cameras were installed at her residence.
The family is demanding an immediate CBI investigation into the murder.
Condemning the killing of the journalist, RSS has appealed to the Karnataka government to launch an impartial probe into the matter and bring the criminals to book.