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Void left by Gauri Lankesh remains but friends, kin ‘content’ with inquiry

Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her house in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017

india Updated: Sep 05, 2018 07:32 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Gauri Lankesh’s death,Gauri Lankesh death,Gauri Lankesh death anniversary
People stage a protest against the killing of Gauri Lankesh at Town hall in Bengaluru on September 6, 2017.(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

To friends and family of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, the void left by her murder outside her Bengaluru home on September 5, 2017 has been difficult to fill.

As they grieve her passing, the smallest everyday detail dredges up memories of the times they shared together. The only consolation has been the arrest of 12 suspects by the special investigation team (SIT) probing her murder, the inquiry also throwing up clues that have led to arrests in the August 2013 killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

Kavita Lankesh, Gauri’s sister and a filmmaker, said she had been in touch with SIT from the beginning and was happy with progress it has made in the probe. “It was a very meticulously planned murder but the SIT has done an amazing job. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is coming to them for help to solve the Dabholkar case, which proves how good the investigation has been,” she said.

Kavita said she was almost certain that there was an ideological link between the murders. “I feel vindicated at having stuck to my stand that the SIT should probe the case, even though there were suggestions that the CBI should take over,” she said. “They went in without any bias and it turned out well. I hope now that this can be proved fast in the court and doesn’t run into years.”

But the vacuum left by Gauri’s death has been hard to plug and painful to bear. “My 14-year-old daughter, Esha, misses her very much and wants her back,” Kavita said. “I have a sense of pride that my sister is getting so much solidarity from across the world.”

Gauri’s close friend KS Vimala, state general secretary of the All India Democratic Women’s Association, said her friend was taken from her at a time when many of their plans were yet to fructify. “It was a tragic loss and we had plans to do so many things together. She was taken away too soon,” she said.

Vimala said the past year had shown the levels to which some groups could go to silence the voices of dissent. “It was clear from the beginning that right-wing elements were behind the murder because only they were affected by her speeches and writings,” she claimed.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 07:32 IST