DEMONSTRATORS gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London yesterday to protest against the murder of a prominent Indian journalist who fiercely challenged the country’s right-wing government.
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in Bangalore in India on Tuesday night, sparking protests in Mumbai and Delhi against her violent death and the shocking rise in hate crimes across the country.
Ms Lankesh was the editor of weekly paper Gauri Lankesh Patrike and was known as an independent and outspoken journalist and activist.
She campaigned against right-wing Hindu nationalism and was highly critical of India’s ruling BJP party, which made her a target for death threats, abuse and hate mail. Her family said she was “killed for her views.”
India is becoming increasingly polarised with Indian National Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi claiming that those who speak out against the BJP are attacked or even killed.
However the BJP dismissed the accusations and condemned the “dastardly killing” of Ms Lankesh.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said 27 reporters have been murdered “with complete impunity” in India since 1992.
Organisers of the London demonstration said in a statement: “The media world is shaken by this cold blooded murder. Gauri was a fearless journalist who bravely exposed injustice that the darker forces did not like.
“So they have silenced her. But they don’t know that they have killed a person not what she stood for. We all will continue the fight Gauri was closely involved.