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Gauri Lankesh murder: Karnataka govt announces Rs 10 lakh award, non-committal on CBI probe

Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead while entering her house in Bengaluru by unknown assailants.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2017 23:32 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Gauri Lankesh,Gauri Lankesh murder,Karnataka govt
People attend a protest in New Delhi against the killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh.(Reuters Photo)

The Karnataka government on Friday announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information helping crack the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru three days ago.

The government, however, was non-committal on handing over the probe into the killing, which sparked outrage and nationwide protests, to the Central Bureau of Investigation, as demanded by Lankesh’s brother.

“I have known the family since the days of P Lankesh, I will speak to them and come to a decision,” chief minister Siddaramaiah said to a question if the case would be handed over to the CBI.

P Lankesh was the father of Gauri and a well-known Kannada writer, poet and journalist.

A special investigation team (SIT) of police, which was set up a day after the murder, opened its probe on Thursday. “Let three-four days pass. Investigations cannot be given a timeline of two weeks,” Siddaramaiah told mediapersons in Mandya, 100km from the state capital Bengaluru.

Before he left for Mandya, the chief minister, whose government is under pressure to crack the case, met inspector general of police (intelligence) BK Singh, who is heading the SIT. Other senior police officers also attended the meeting.

“We want to get as much information as possible, which is why we have announced this reward”, home minister Ramalinga Reddy told Hindustan Times.

An officer who is part of the SIT said cell phone activity and the footage from a CCTV camera at Lankesh’s home had not yet yielded much.

“It is still just over a day since we took charge of the investigation. We are following some leads that we hope will help nab the perpetrator,” the officer said on condition of anonymity.

The city’s cyber crime police arrested a person for posting offensive messages against Lankesh on Facebook. Mallanagouda Biradar, 22, was brought in for questioning on Wednesday and was arrested after it was found that he posted those messages through his phone.

The murder of the Left-leaning editor and publisher of the Kannada-language Gauri Lankesh Patrike newspaper triggered a social media war.

Several users pointed fingers at the right-wing Hindu groups for the murder. There were others who virtually celebrated the killing and went on to the extent of saying the 55-year-old Lankesh, who opposed hardline Hindu groups, favoured reconciliation with Maoist rebels and was a fierce critic of caste system, got what she deserved.

First Published: Sep 08, 2017 13:45 IST