Gauri Lankesh gets Anna Politkovskaya Award posthumously

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 08, 2018

Honour amid tragedy Slain activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh’s mother Indira, brother Indrajit and sister Kavita at the Press Club in Bengaluru on Thursday   -  GP Sampath Kumar

Please find the killers, say siblings

Journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, who was gunned down brutally a month ago, has been awarded the Anna Politkovskaya Award, instituted by the RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War).

Accepting the award on Gauri’s behalf, her sister Kavitha Lankesh told reporters the award is a morale booster for people who want to write and continue to fight against injustice.

“It was an honour not only for the members of Gauri's family, but also to a ‘huge family’ that loved Gauri for her commitment to the cause of secular ideals, justice, equality and women rights.

“In fact, the award honours what Gauri stood for throughout her life...that ‘you cannot silence me’,” said Kavitha.

Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist, was killed in 2006 in Moscow for speaking out against the suffering of civilians in the war in Chechnya. “It is not by coincidence that Gauri’s work, her personality and the way she was killed for her work reminded us so much of the way Anna lived and died for the truth,” said the members of the nominations committee in a statement.

RAW, in a statement, said it was honoured to give the award to Gauri posthumously, and to Pakistani activist Gulalai Ismail, who similarly is fighting against Islamic extremism.

Ismail has faced death threats for speaking out against the Taliban in north-west Pakistan.

‘Find the motive’

PTI quoted Gauri’s brother Indrajit Lankesh as saying: “I have lost my sister. I appeal to the government to nab the murderers.

“Finding out the motive may solve the riddle of (rationalists) MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare murder cases.”

Asked if he is satisfied with the investigation by the 21-member SIT formed by the Karnataka government, he said they are waiting for the killers to be caught.

“We can’t say we are happy with the investigation till the killers are found. But we are satisfied with the work they are doing,” Kavitha said.

She expressed unhappiness over speculative stories appearing in the media.

On October 3, Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy claimed the SIT had identified the killers.

He, however, did not share the details, saying the SIT was gathering more evidence.

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Published on October 05, 2017
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