K’taka CM directs formation of SIT to probe into Gauri Lankesh’s murder

Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India], September 6 : Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) is going to be constituted to probe into the murder case of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh.

"I have taken stock of the investigation which is done so far. I have given instruction to police official. This case will be taken seriously and will be investigated by a special team. Therefore, a SIT is going to be constituted immediately to probe into this case. It is true that it is an organised crime, let the police look into it," the Chief Minister told media here.

Siddaramaiah further said that the decision of handing over the murder case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be taken by the Director General of Police (DGP).

Addressing the media here over the murder, the Chief Minister said that there was no threat to Lankesh's life.

"I have left it to the DGP who will speak to the Home Minister and decide on whether to hand over the case to CBI or not," the Chief Minister said.

He further said that he could not ascertain if it was a case of conspiracy or not. "She met me recently, but never spoke about any threats. I cannot say yet if it was a part of a conspiracy," he said. The Chief Minister, however, refrained from linking Lankesh's murder to the murder of three other outspoken critics of right-wing extremist ideology, M.M.

Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar. "Similar weapons were used in Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar killings. In this case, we don't know yet, so can't draw link," he said. Siddaramaiah further said that he has also instructed the police that protection should be given to the activists propagating progressive thoughts.

The Chief Minister yesterday condemned the death of the senior journalist said it 'is an assassination on democracy'.

"Absolutely shocked to learn about the murder of renowned journalist Gauri Lankesh. I have no words to condemn this heinous crime," Siddaramaiah had tweeted. Senior journalist Lankesh was shot dead on Tuesday at her residence in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Naga by some unidentified assailants at around 8-8:30 p.m.

As per reports, three bullets were pumped in her body. Lankesh's body was later shifted to the Victoria Hospital for the post-mortem. Lankesh was the editor of the Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a tabloid described as an "anti-establishment" publication.

Following this, major protest demonstrations have been planned across India, especially in prominent parts of Karnataka.

Source: ANI