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State funeral for Gauri Lankesh; Cong says Democracy is being throttled, asphyxiated

Gauri Lankesh

Bengaluru: Hundreds lined up at Bengaluru’s Ravindra Kalakshetra cultural centre to pay their respects to senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, who was buried this evening with full state honours at a cemetery in Chamarajpet.

Gauri Lankesh, 55, was shot dead at point-blank range at her doorstep last evening. There is outrage across the country and editors and others have condemned the murder and expressed concern over what they described as a growing intolerance to dissent.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has called the murder an “assassination on democracy,” was among politicians, activists, journalists and other citizens who paid homage to Ms Lankesh at the Kalakshetra, where her body was kept for a few hours this afternoon.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) also condemned the brutal killing of Lankesh. AICC Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Sanghvi said, “Democracy is being throttled, asphyxiated. Media freedom is on the ventilator. Right to question is being murdered. When ‘intellectual’ becomes an abuse, words are replied with bullets”, said Sanghvi.

“Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have spoken to the Chief Minister of Karnataka and urged him to swiftly bring the culprits on the book. Every possible measure should be taken to maintain a safe and secure atmosphere in the state”, he added.

Taking jibe at the saffron party, Sanghvi said, “If you do not agree with us, we shall kill you- is the new slogan of ‘New India. Muzzling the voice of ordinary citizens and the lynch mob mentality has become a regular habit of this ‘New India Achhe Din’ Government”, he further added.

 

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