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Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead

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Bengaluru: Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified assailants at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru West.

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According to the officials, four bullets were pumped into the editor of the Kannada weekly Lankesh Patrike at her doorstep after she had stepped out of her car and opened the gates to her home which lay in darkness at around 8 pm.

Initial indications are that neighbours came out of a flat opposite the home where the journalist lived alone on what they thought were sounds of firecrackers and found Gauri lying in a pool of blood on her porch barely a metre away from the locked verandah to her home. “Normally, she works late hours because she is a journalist. Today she seemed to have returned home earlier than usual,’’ a neighbour said.

If sources are to be believed, the assailants were either following Lankesh on her way back home from work or were waiting in the neighborhood for her arrival, police said. “I just sat down for dinner when I heard the firecracker type of sounds. When I came out, there were people in all the balconies and the gate was lying open with a car waiting to enter. There was no one else around,’’ pointed out Manohar a watchman at the apartments opposite the journalist’s house.

Few neighbours have told police officials of two men moving up and down several times on a motorcycle on the quiet street in the Ideal Homes colony in Rajarajeshwarinagar through the day.

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“The incident happened at exactly 8 pm and four bullets were fire in her chest,’’ a police inspector said. “The shots were fired from a very close range inside the compound of the house. She had been living alone in recent days after her elderly mother moved to her sister’s house,’’ said Shivasundar, a longtime journalist colleague of Gauri Lankesh.

Supporters of the journalist, who was known for a strident opposition to Hindutva forces, drew parallels between the killing of Gauri Lankesh and the 2015 murder of rationalist and writer M M Kalburgi.
It is worthwhile mentioning that Kalburgi was shot dead by two unidentified persons who came on a motorcycle.

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