Canadian city to celebrate Gauri Lankesh Day on September 5
The Canadian city of Burnaby had declared September 5 as Gauri Lankesh Day. The city will commemorate the slain activist’s life on her death anniversary. Lankesh, a journalist-turned-activist, was shot dead outside her home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru, on September 5, 2017.
The decision to commemorate Gauri Lankesh Day was taken during Burnaby City Council on August 30. The proclamation signed by the city mayor, Mike Hurley, announcing the decision was published on the official website of the city administration subsequently.
The proclamation hails Lankesh as a courageous Indian journalist who stood up for truth and justice. “Gauri Lankesh through her work encouraged her readers to adopt scientistic temperament and reject religious fanaticism, caste-based discrimination and bigotry,” read the proclamation on the city website.
In April 2020, the city of Burnaby proclaimed April 14 as Dr BR Ambedkar Day of Equality. Also, the city declared a day dedicated to civil rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra and Sikh Heritage.
A word from Lankesh’s sister, Kavitha Lankesh is awaited.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is expected to hear the plea filed by Kavitha Lankesh, challenging the dropping of charges under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act 2000 (KCOCA) against one of the accused in the murder case. A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar had issued notice to Karnataka on the petition filed by Kavitha, in which she appealed against the state high court’s decision in April to quash charges under KCOCA against Mohan Nayak.
KCOCA is a law enacted by Karnataka in India since 2000 to combat organised crime and terrorism. The Act was modelled on the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA). According to police, if the charges of KCOCA are dropped against Nayak, it could set a precedence for charges to be dropped against other accused in the case as well.
A senior home department official, in the know of the developments, said that the SIT had approached the government to file an appeal against the Karnataka high court decision, however, the government didn’t act on it. The home minister didn’t respond to HT’s call for a comment regarding this allegation.
As per the charge sheet, Nayak is accused of providing accommodation to the killers on the outskirts of Bengaluru. He was arrested on July 19, 2018 after the main suspects in the case, including the shooter and the mastermind, were taken into custody.
According to Lankesh’s petition, Nayak was also involved in arranging logistics for the killers both before and after the crime. It stated that the high court erred in setting aside the order of the Bengaluru police commissioner passed in August 2018 invoking KCOCA against Nayak and the subsequent supplementary charge sheet filed by the SIT under the provisions of KCOCA.