Media fraternity seeks speedy inquiry into Gauri Lankesh's killing

Our Bureaus September 6 | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 06, 2017

A scribe protesting in Chennai over killing of Gauri Lankesh   -  PTI

Nationwide fury Journalists and activists protesting against the killing of Gauri Lankesh at New Delhi’s Press Club on Wednesday. - Kamal Narang

Scribes respond with grief and rage across the nation

Journalists and civil society members responded on Wednesday with grief and rage to the murder of Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, and held protest demonstrations and vigils across the country demanding protections for free speech and a speedy investigation into the killing.

In Delhi, journalists and others gathered at the Press Club of India to condemn the murder, and voiced concern over growing attacks on freedom of expression and the assault on any form of “dissent”.

Taking a pledge to protect the right to fearlessly disseminate information, the media fraternity called for a united stand against threats. A joint memorandum, submitted to the Karnataka Chief Minister, sought speedy investigation and noted that the murder had sent “shock waves across the journalist community for its brazenness.”

NDTVIndia’s Ravish Kumar wondered what the Prime Minister’s views were on those who “trolled” Lankesh on Twitter, whom the Prime Minister follows on the social media platform.

The protest, organised by the Editors Guild of India, the Press Club of India, the Indian Women’s Press Corps and Press Association, was addressed by many journalists.

The Press Council of India issued a statement expressing “concern” over the murder and has sought a report from the Karnataka government.

Vigil in Mumbai

The Mumbai Press Club, in alliance with other media organisations, held a candle-light vigil seeking justice for Lankesh. Club Secretary Dharmendra Jore said the Club had requested the Karnataka government to order a CBI investigation into the killing and demanded efforts to ensure that the “masterminds and the foot-soldiers” behind the murder received the maximum punishment.

Protest in Chennai

Chennai journalists gathered at the Press Club to condemn the murder. The solmenity of the protest was laced with rage over the killing. A Madras Union of Journalists statement demanded the immediate arrest of the killers.

Bindu Bhaskar, a senior journalist and faculty of the Asian College of Journalism, recalled that Lankesh, her colleague at the Times Group in the 1980s, never wavered in her focus on social issues that impacted citizens despite death threats. Environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman said the murder may have been intended to have a “chilling effect” on journalists, “but journalists will not bow down.”

Tributes in Gujarat

Hundreds of journalists and others across Gujarat paid tributes to Lankesh, condemned her murder and demanded a “proper inquiry” into the crime. In Ahmedabad, 200 people, including journalists, gathered at Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati area in defence of freedom of expression, said Gujarat Media Club President Darshan Desai.

Published on September 06, 2017

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