Countrywide Protests Against Brutal Murder of Gauri Lankesh

Protest against assassination of Gauri, in Punjab 2017-09-09

Protests were organized across the country on 6 September 2017 against the brutal killing of fearless journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru.

The murder was condemned and opposed strongly across Karnataka. A massive protest meeting was organized at the Town Hall in Bengaluru. Protests were also organized at Mangalore at Jyoti Circle in front of the Collector’s office in the morning and at the Gandhi Statue, Town Hall, in the evening; at the Clock Tower in Udipi, at the Silver Jubilee Park in Mandya, and at the Mini Vidhan Sabha in Gulbarga; a protest rally was taken out in Dharwad from the house of Dr Kalburgi in Kalyan Nagar, culminating in a meeting at the District Press Club. Protest meetings were also held at many other places in Karnataka.

In Delhi protest meetings and condolence meetings were organized at the Press Club at 11 AM, 12.30 PM and 3 PM on 6 September. A protest meeting was held at Jantar Mantar on 7 September. Protests were held at Hutatma Chowk and Carter Road (Bandra) in Bombay, attended by the CPI (ML), LNP (Leninist), Prakash Ambedkar, CPI (M), CPI, Puragami Sangathana and other organizations. Protests were held in Pune at the SP College, Sadashivpet.

Programmes were organized across Bihar on 6 September. A citizens’ protest meeting in Patna was attended by journalists, writers, cultural activists, social activists, Left leaders, AIPF, RYA, AISA, AIPWA, and common citizens holding placards saying, “We are all Gauri”. Speakers at the meeting condemned the cowardly murder of Gauri and resolved to take inspiration from her fearlessness and fight fascist forces. They said that the modus operandi for Gauri’s killing was similar to that of the murders of Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar; Sanghi goons are attempting to play the same dirty game in Bihar and we must oppose them tooth and nail. Protests were also held at Ara, Darbhanga and other places, attended by Left leaders, writers, poets, journalists, All Bihar Progressive Advocates’ Association, Jan Sanskriti Manch, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Pragatisheel Lekhak Sangh, and other organizations. Condemning Gauri Lankesh’s murder by fascist forces, the speakers pointed out that the murder could have been prevented if action had been taken on the criminals responsible for the murders of Dr Kulbargi and other intellectuals.

In Udaipur, Journalists, writers, teachers, labour unions and people’s organizations organized a strong protest on 7 September 2017 at Sukhadiya Circle against the brutal and brazen murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh. Speaking on the occasion, senior journalist Madan Modi said that Gauri Lankesh was a forthright woman of very clear thoughts. She opposed fundamentalism and had the courage to speak the truth. He said that he had known Lankesh and her family for decades. Hers was a family with progressive ideas. He said that all journalists strongly condemn her brutal murder. Chief Editor of Mahavir Samta Sandesh, Himmat Seth said that Gauri’s murder is not only an attack on the freedom of the Press but also an attack on free thinking and logical and sensible deliberation. This murder is proof of the growing intolerance and activity of fascist forces in the country. We demand strict legal action against the killers and the hidden forces behind the assassination. Prof Sudha Chaudhury said that the killing of Gauri Lankesh is a conspiracy by those forces which want to re-impose the caste system on the country. We must look at her murder as a nexus between religion, politics, and corporate capitalism. Editor of Mahavir Samta Sandesh and former PTI correspondent Dr. Hemendra Chandaliya said that we cannot view Gauri’s killing as just the killing of a journalist. This is an assault on democracy, the right to think independently and the right to communicate our ideas to others. He said that in the past few years dozens of journalist and independent thinkers and intellectuals have been assassinated across the country but no action has been taken against the killers. Journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati who exposed Ram Rahim was murdered in 2002 but he has not got justice till today.

At the end of the meeting two minutes’ silence was observed to pay tribute to Gauri Lankesh. Prior to the meeting a rally was taken out through Sukhadiya Circle with slogans raised for justice for Gauri and for freedom of expression, and against fascism and intolerance.

Protests in Ranchi, Jharkhand, were held under the joint banners of JALES, PRALES, Insaf Manch, RYA, and Sajha Mancha. Protest rallies and meetings to pay condolence to Gauri Lankesh were also held at Bokaro (Jharkhand) and Bhilai (Chhattisgarh). A candle march was organised in Gopeshwar in Uttarakhand.

In Uttar Pradesh, protest marches and meetings held at Mathura, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and other places. The speakers at the protests condemned the brutal and cowardly murder of Gauri Lankesh and said that the need of the hour is to take inspiration from her in fighting fascist forces. In Punjab, CPI (ML) organized protests in Gurdaspur, Raikot and Mansa.

Protests were also held in Wardha, Maharashtra, at the International Hindi University attended in large number by students and teachers. Protests were also held in Haryana, at the Press Club in Chandigarh, Hyderabad (Telangana), and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). In Andhra Pradesh, protest was organized in Tenali in Guntur District.