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Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh's tragic killing: Is it an attack on freedom of press?
The footage of one of the security cameras has found to be clearly showing the chilling murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, 55, by three assailants, one of them shot her seven times.

She was known as an activist-journalist and a staunch critic of the uprising Right-wing Hindu extremism. She was the editor of weekly newspaper Lankesh Patrike and equally active in social activism.

In Bangalore, Lankesh was known as a staunch critic of the right-wing Hindutva politics, caste system and social evils. She had been advocating freedom of expression, gender equity and social equity.

The brutal killing is being seen as another example of 'intolerance' and 'attack on freedom of press' by outraged journalists and social activists. Across India, journalist groups as well as the Editors' Guild, Press Club of India and Press Association, have protested by holding candle light vigils and press statements calling Lankesh's murder a 'brutal assault on the freedom of the press' for her being a critical and secular voice that had opposed hard-liner right-wing groups and ideology.

The murder has been condemned by prominent activists, journalists, citizens and political parties, including the BJP and INC and various social organisations including the RSS.

The video footage shows three unidentified men, one of them shot Lankesh to death by firing seven bullets at her. The footage also suggests that she was being followed by the killers while returning from her office.

The footage has shown that the three suspected killers were wearing helmets and escaped on a two-wheeler Honda Dio after the murder. Out of seven bullets, three pierced the journalist's forehead, neck, and chest, resulting in her death in a pool of blood.

The state government has also been criticised failing to protect the lives of journalists like Lankesh and writers like Kalburgi. However, Lankesh was given a state funeral with a gun salute on September 6, in Bangalore. Before that her body was kept for a few hours at Ravindra Kalakshetra for the public to pay tribute.

Lankesh, who was considered to be a rationalist, was buried in accordance with Lingayat customs but without any religious customs for her. Though she is no more, but the protests over her death at press clubs all across India to highlight the issue of 'freedom of press' will take some more time to die down.

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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