Chikkamagaluru: Former Naxal, Sirimane Nagaraj, who surrendered in December 2015 thanks to the efforts of senior journalist, Gauri Lankesh and others like noted advocate-cum politician, A K Subbaiah, blames the Sangh Parivar for her death.
Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Nagaraj who surrendered along with Noor Sridhar, another Naxal, said the Ms Lankesh did most of the negotiation with the state government to help them return to mainstream society.
Recalling his rapport with the late firebrand writer and activist, he says he was grateful for her support during their fight for shelter in Kodagu and was in regular touch with her.
It was thanks to the Shantigagi Nagarikara Vedike (civil society), which had among its members, Ms Lankesh, A K Subbaiah, and litterateur Devanoor Mahadeva that Nagaraj and Sridhar were persuaded to surrender. Since then the number of surrendered Naxals in the state has risen to nine. They include Rizwana Begum, Parashuram, Padmanabha, Chennamma, Shivu, Bharathi and Kanyakumari, who surrendered before the Chikkamagaluru district administration for rehabilitation under the Extremists Rehabilitation package of the state government.
Mr Subbaiah, who worked closely with Ms Lankesh, calls her a pillar of strength and a source of inspiration.
“She worked without any selfish motive and was secular by nature,” he said, pointing accusing fingers at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for her death.