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A brutal assault on freedom of press

Journalist fraternity condemned the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead by four unidentified men outside her residence in Bengaluru. According to them, the attack of Gauri can be termed as an assault on freedom of press following the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi in last few years. They urged the government to conduct a thorough probe into this incident and take action against the culprit responsible for the murder. Rising attacks against journalists has once again revived the demand for enhancing security of reporters.

When AV spoke to Nilesh Khare, Editor of SAAM TV Marathi, he said, “Culprits have followed the same modus operandi while committing all four murders. It is a chain and it is associated with the people possessing same ideology. They are trying to destroy secular values. Journalism is so powerful that these people have to use guns to destroy journalists. If journalists fail to raise their voice against these issues then they might also become the next victim.”

Tulsidas Bhoite, Editor of Jai Maharashtra said, “The culprit responsible for murdering Gauri Lankesh will be caught after investigation. However, I condemn the manner in which miscreants have murdered the journalist. The government has failed to avert such type of incidents. They are targeting people who are following progressive mindset.”

Editors Guild of India said, “We are deeply shocked and strongly condemn the murder of Gauri Lankesh, senior journalist and Editor, Lankesh Patrika. Gauri Lankesh was a known critic of the Central government on key issues and had fearlessly expressed her views in the newspaper she edited as well as in other forums. Her killing is an ominous portent for dissent in democracy and a brutal assault on the freedom of the press. The Editors Guild of India demands that the Karnataka Government acts with alacrity to bring the culprits to justice apart from instituting a judicial probe into the killing.”

Ayaz Memon, senior journalist said, “I condemn the act of murder. The government must conduct a probe into this matter as soon as possible. Journalists will continue to perform their job but it is not right that they are being targeted. The confidence of the culprits increases if there is a delay in conducting investigation.”

Dr. Bharat Kumar Raut, senior journalist said, “It is very unfair and our heads are down with shame. It is 21st century and such incidents are still happening in our society. Congress government rules Karnataka and BJP is in power at the centre. So this issue should not be politicised and it is necessary to maintain law and order.”

T Jayashree, an AV reader said, “She got trapped in her own liberal commies trap. In terms of integrity let’s not forget she was convicted for misreporting in defamation against BJP MPs. To quote the judgement, the press has a great power in impressing the minds of people and it is essential that the person who is responsible for publication should take good care and caution before publishing the articles in newspaper which tends to harm the reputation of a person. The editor and publisher are bound to take due care and caution before making libellous statement,’’

Datta Shikaripur, an avid reader said, “Every time such incidents occur you all blame Hindutva but later it turns out something else and nobody apologises. She might have possessed some sensitive information about some Rowdy or Congress politician so she may have been blackmailed and got into such situation. Why do they do it, knowing well it will spoil their reputation? Let us help police to nab the murderer. It is a cold-blooded murder and the culprit should be punished. Without proof if you blame RSS and BJP, main point will be missed.”

Dhrupad Sharma said, “Sorry we lost another person. Government should identify the culprits and punish them at the earliest and it should serve as a lesson for bad elements in the society. She was upright in her views related to Hindus (to hurt their sentiments) and quite on issues related to Islam and Christianity like any other award wapasi brigade.”

According to reports, some unidentified men shot at Gauri and wounded her fatally before escaping from the scene. Initial reports say more than five shots were fired. Police said that Gauri was getting out of her car to open the gate of her house, when the assailants shot her.

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