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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Gauri Lankesh’s fate awaits you, Kerala Hindu group leader warns writers

Barely a week after Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder in Bengaluru, a right wing hardliner in Kerala has issued a chilling warning to writers.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2017 20:34 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Gauri Lankesh's mother and siblings paying their last respects to her ahead of her funeral.
Gauri Lankesh's mother and siblings paying their last respects to her ahead of her funeral. (HT PHOTO)

Kerala Hindu Aikyavedi leader K P Sasikala, notorious for her inflammatory speeches, threatened secular writers on Sunday saying the fate of murdered Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh also awaits them.

Addressing a meeting in North Paravur in Ernakulam district, 250 km north of the state capital, she urged such writers to perform a “Mruthunjaya Homam” (a ritual to escape from the clutches of death) at Lord Shiva temples if they did not want to meet the fate of Lankesh who was shot dead in Bangaluru last week.

Her speech which was widely shared on social media has riled both the government and the opposition.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has condemned the speech and directed the police to take necessary action. “The attempt to divide people on the lines of religion and caste will be viewed seriously. It is sad such utterances also reached Kerala,” he said.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala urged the government to book her under non-bailable provisions of IPC. Another Congress leader, V D Satheesan lodged complaint with the state police chief asking him to register a case against Sasikala immediately.

Lankesh’s murder sparked off nationwide protests by journalists and the public last week.

“One more has fallen, this time in Karnataka. All are chanting that if a Keechakan (demon) has died, the killer has to be RSS. There is a tendency to put all blames at the doors of the Sangh. Lankesh’s murder is one such,” she said while giving a clean chit to the Sangh Parivar.

“Nobody can contain the growth of RSS. It did not have to commit such a murder. The Congress government has to be blamed for it. If you want to live longer I urge the so-called secular writers to visit nearest Shiva temples and perform Mruthunjaya Homam soon,” she said.

When her speech snowballed into a raging controversy she launched a damage control exercise, saying she only blamed the Karnataka government that failed to provide enough security to Lankesh. “In Karnataka, the Congress is on the verge of losing electoral battle. The party wants such killings. So I only said such writers need Mruthunjaya Homam,” she said.

She said if the RSS has gone ahead and killed writers antagonising the organisation the country would have been wiped out of writers. “RSS never needs such a label. It knows well that it turns stronger when they criticise it,” she said.

Notorious for hate speeches Sasikala is facing many such cases. A couple of years back she was stopped from boarding a plane at Thiruvananthapuram airport after the UK denied her visa to visit the country following complaints against her.

First Published: Sep 10, 2017 20:17 IST

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