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Gauri Lankesh doesn't need a bail anymore!
A new name is added in the list of 'Martyrs of Conscience' whose only weapon is their pen. It won't change much! It is just another number!

A senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Tuesday evening. The news was confirmed by city police commissioner. She was the editor of Lankesh Patrike, a weekly Kannada magazine and had been a staunch critic of Hindutva politics.

According to reports, Lankesh succumbed to multiple bullet wounds on her body. Reflecting on the incident, DCP (West) MN Anucheth said her body was found on the veranda of her house. Gauri was the elder daughter of P Lankesh –a man who brought in a new brand of Kannada journalism. She followed in his footsteps, speaking her mind and running her own Kannada paper with views that were never careful or circumspect. She was part of a group that worked for communal harmony. Her views were considered Leftist and anti-Hindutva. Like her father, who was a noted Kannada writer, Gauri Lankesh also faced opposition and criticism of her journalism.

In November 2016, she had been found guilty in a defamation case involving BJP MP Prahlad Joshi and had been sentenced to six months in jail. She was out on bail. The article was published on January 23, 2008, alleging that some BJP leaders in the region were involved in a cheating case.

On 31 August, 2015, I'd written an article in "Merinews" and here I've to reproduce some of its excerpts:

"Former vice chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, MM Kalburgi was shot dead at his home in Dharwad on Sunday morning. According to Dharwad city police, two assailants rode up to Kalburgi's house on a motorcycle and shot the scholar at close range in his head and chest when he answered the door. The identity of the assailants and the motive behind the murder are unknown at this point.

His murder conjures up the brutal memories of killings of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in 2013 and social activist Govind Pansare in Kolhapur in February. Both men were shot at close range while on their morning walks.

One can safely attribute the latest crime to prevailing 'anti-intellectualism'. It is the hostility towards free thinking and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits. It is an expression of derision for education, philosophy, literature, art and science. It is often inspired by self-described intellectuals who fail themselves to adhere to rigorous standards of scholarship and erudition. Anti-intellectualism has also been a common facet of totalitarian dictatorships to oppress political dissent."........End of quote.

However, over 20 working journalists have been killed in India since 2014. The year 2017 had started with sad news as the dead body of a Jharkhand-based scribe was recovered on Hazaribag locality in the first week itself. Hari Prakash, 31, whose body was found on January 2 on a roadside, was missing for some days. He used to work for a Hindi daily.

On January 3, 2017, a Bihar-based journalist Brajesh Kumar Singh, 28, was shot dead at Samastipur locality by some unidentified goons. The third and fourth incidents involving the murder of working journalists were reported from Madhya Pradesh.

Shyam Sharma, 40, who was engaged with a local evening newspaper was stabbed to death by miscreants at Anshul locality of Indore on May 15. Shyam received multiple injuries and died on the spot.

One Kamlesh Jain, 42, was shot dead in his office at Pipliyamandi locality of Mandsaur on the evening of May 31. Kamlesh was rushed to a nearby hospital, where the attending doctors declared him brought dead. According to the police on duty, two miscreants entered into Kamlesh's office and one of them shot him. The culprits quickly fled from the location with their motorcycle.

Engaged with a Hindi daily (Nai Dunia), the journalist lately exposed few local people involved in illegal liquor trade through a number roadside Dhabas (restaurants). He was also threatened by those criminals with dire consequences few days back.

Being a small time CJ himself, this scribe is fully aware of the risks ahead if you stand for the truth. However, I feel we have to be thankful to the people who have sacrificed their lives in exposing the falsehoods. We have to remember that all of these people were taking a huge risk to bring the facts to light. I applaud these seekers of truth.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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