Gauri killers will be arrested soon, says CM Siddaramaiah

Mysuru: With foreheads getting creased over the delay in nabbing the assailant of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was gunned down at her Bengaluru residence five days ago triggering nationwide outrage, chief minister Siddaramaiah rushed to assuage tempers asserting the culprits would be arrested as fast as possible.

“It has to happen quickly. I am serious about it,” he said while speaking to mediapersons on his arrival at Mysuru airport on Sunday. The slain writer was known for her anti-right wing views and her espousal of the cause of Naxalites who wanted to return to the mainstream, with sources claiming that right-wing fundamentalists could be behind the murder though this has not been proved yet.

The CM also spoke on the need to provide protection to progressive thinkers who might be under threat and said, “They have not sought protection, but I decided that such writers and those leading progressive movements need to be protected. Gauri never sought any protection. A Central government minister (Ravi Shankar Prasad) made an irresponsible statement that she (Gauri) had sought protection and the state did not provide it. It’s not true. We will give protection to anyone. She met me last week along with a fellow activist, Ms Vimala and MLC Mohan Kumar Kondajji. She told me that she was coming up with a Diwali special edition and wanted government advertisements but she did not speak about any threat she faced. She did not have enemies. She spoke to even her opponents; she was a very good human being. We have certain leads on her murder but we cannot divulge any information now,”  he said.

Asked how he planned to instil a sense of security among progressive thinkers and journalists when even the assailants of writer M.M. Kalburgi had not been traced yet, Mr Siddaramaiah replied, “Maharashtra police is investigating the murder of Govind Pansare, the CBI, the murder of Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra and the CID in Karnataka is investigating Kalburgi’s murder. The Gauri case is being investigated in co-ordination with officers probing these cases. There is some progress in the Kalburgi case, it’s not that nothing has happened. But they have not got evidence to the extent that they can nab the culprits,” he said.