23 April, 2021

Pawn Mapping

The Gauri Lankesh murder probe points to more sinister plots

Fearless Face
A candlelight march in memory of Gauri Lankesh
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Pawn Mapping

In late May, eight months after journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in Bangalore, a special investigation team (SIT) probing the case was inching towards a breakthrough—the arrest of a group of rightwing activists who, police say, are key ­suspects in the murder conspiracy.

In the process, investigators claimed to have unearthed a second plot targeting K.S. Bhagwan, the Mysore-based academic and rationalist, whose writings have often attracted the ire of right-wing groups. Sources say that searches at various places frequented by these suspects have revealed a list of public figures—eight of them from Karnataka—who were possibly targets.

The police haven’t named any organisation in their preliminary chargesheet in the Lankesh case yet. But due to fingers pointing in their direction, outfits such as the Hindu Janaj­agruthi Samiti (HJS) and the Goa-based Sanathan Sanstha are crying foul, saying they are...

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