Gauri Lankesh's siblings set 2 week deadline for cops to arrest killer

If police fail to arrest killer, the Lankesh family will move court and seek to refer the probe to the CBI.

Bengaluru: Slain journalist Gauri Lankesh’s siblings, film director Kavitha Lankesh and journalist and film director Indrajit Lankesh, have set a two week deadline for the state police to arrest the killer. If they fail to do so, the Lankesh family will move court and seek to refer the probe to the CBI.

Addressing a joint press conference on Thursday, they said that they had no doubts that their older sister’s strong ideological views led to her murder. Kavitha Lankesh said, “For me, the only culprit has been her ideological differences. Lankesh Patrike has always been anti-establishment, anti-fundamentalist and anti-extremist. My father used to get thousands of letters every week and he also answered some of them. But today the situation is different. People active in social media think they own you, everybody thinks everybody owns each other. So, you are not supposed to have an opinion.”

When asked about the possibility of Naxal elements being behind the murder as claimed by her brother Indrajit, Kavita said, “Gauri has worked tirelessly for them. She is the one who persuaded them to give up arms and come into the mainstream. So, as far as I know, we don’t know if the Naxals were involved in her killing, but if there is such an angle to the murder, it has to be investigated.”

About the ongoing probe by the SIT, she said she was optimistic that the killer will be nabbed soon. “Though we can’t give any deadline to them (SIT), we also cannot wait for two years like in the case of Dr. M. M. Kalburgi. If nothing happens in two weeks, we will ask for a CBI probe.”

"Beyond all of this, the voice of those who stand and support my sister should not be silenced," she said. In what was probably a move to quell reports of an altercation between Gauri and her brother some years ago, Indrajit Lankesh not only sat alongside Kavita in a gesture of solidarity, he also joined her in calling for the probe to be stepped up.

"What the family members want is the immediate arrest of the killers. I have no preference as such, about who should investigate the case. If state police fail to nab the killers as soon as possible, we will move the court seeking a CBI probe. The only intention behind asking for a CBI probe is that we do not want Gauri’s case to end up like Dr. M. M Kalburgi’s.”

He also said: “On the first day, everybody suspected that it was the work of right-wing activists. On the second day, the theory of Naxals behind the murder was floated. Even my reporters told me that some pro-Naxals had distributed pamphlets that had hate messages against Gauri in the Western Ghats region. We will get clarity only through an impartial probe. I don’t know whether she was receiving hate messages on Facebook and Twitter. The police have taken her phone and laptop. They will have to investigate it,” he said.

Clarifying that he was not connected to the BJP in any way, and that such rumours had been spread after he had held a public event in which BJP leaders and pontiffs participated, he said "calling for a CBI probe is to find my sister's killers," and not echoing the BJP's call.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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