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Journalist Gauri Lankesh’s tabloid to be renamed, police yet to find her killers

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in the portico of her house in Bengaluru by unidentified assassins on September 5 and the police are yet to crack the case.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2017 07:21 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Gauri Lankesh murder,Gauri Lankesh,Bengaluru
Activists take part in a protest rally against the killing Gauri Lankesh at the India Gate memorial in New Delhi.(AFP File Photo)

Gauri Lankesh Patrike, the tabloid that journalist Gauri Lankesh owned and edited before being gunned down by assassins three months ago, will be rechristened Namma Gauri (Our Gauri), a member of the trust floated in her memory has said.

The member of the Gauri Memorial Trust that was created recently to perpetuate the journalist’s memory said Lankesh’s mother had asked for a change in the Kannada weekly’s name. “Her mother said she did not want us to use the name of Lankesh. Respecting this, we will call it Namma Gauri, but it will have the same staff,” the member, who did not wish to be named, said.

The trust that is headed by freedom fighter HS Doreswamy and has activist-journalist Teesta Setalvad among its members aims to financially support the Kannaga-language paper. It will also institute an annual award in Lankesh’s name to felicitate journalists, organise lectures and extend fellowships to journalists from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Meanwhile, friends and relatives of the slain journalist gathered in Bengaluru on Tuesday – exactly three months after Lankesh was murdered -- demanding answers from chief minister Siddaramaiah for the slow pace of the probe into her killing.

Lankesh was shot dead in the portico of her house by unidentified assassins on September 5 and the police are yet to crack the case.

Kavita, Lankesh’s sister, demanded that the police arrest the culprits soon. “We want those responsible to be caught without delay,” she said at the event attended, among others, by poet Chandrasekhar Patil, writer Yogesh Master and activist KL Ashok. Lankesh was known for her pro-poor and anti-Hindutva activism.

So far, the investigation into her murder has not made any breakthrough. Speaking to HT, a senior officer with the special investigating team (SIT) set up to probe the killing said leads till date have led to dead-ends. In October, the SIT had released sketches of three suspects and a video that purportedly showed a person conducting reconnaissance in the Ideal Homes locality where Lankesh lived.

“We had received a tip-off that there were some persons who matched the sketches. But this turned out to be false,” the officer said. The SIT has also not been able to track the two-wheeler used by the assailants who shot Lankesh.

Crucially, the SIT is yet to compare the bullets recovered from the scene of Lankesh’s murder with the ammunition used to murder three other activists: MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. The local forensic science lab had confirmed in September that the bullets that killed Lankesh were fired from a 7.65 mm country-made pistol. However, the SIT is yet to receive the other bullets for comparison.

State home minister Ramalinga Reddy refused to comment on the issue, saying he would do so when a breakthrough was reached. Kavita, Lankesh’s sister, said the family was still hopeful that the SIT would be able to crack the case soon. “We haven’t given up hope,” she told HT.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 19:04 IST