ABDUL GANI | 6 SEPTEMBER, 2017
Assam Protests Gauri Lankesh Murder: 'You Can Kill a Person But Not an Idea'
GUWAHATI: Various organizations and journalists’ forums in Assam have condemned the murder of Bangalore based journalist Gauri Lankesh who was vocal against the Hindutva brigade.
Gauri was shot dead by gunned assailants in front of her house on Tuesday evening.
Condemning the murder, Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) said that India stands at an awkward position over the journo-murder index.
“Apart from non-physical attacks to silence media, as the year 2017 rolls on, India stands at an awkward position over the journo-murder index, as we have witnessed the murder of six professional journalists in the last nine months. Hence, we reiterate our old demand for a special protection law for the scribes across the country,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
Gauri, 55, was critical against all kinds of communal forces in the country. She also faced convictions in two defamation cases. Elder daughter of a noted Kannada litterateur- journalist P Lankesh, Gauri used to receive threats from various extreme forces in the recent past, but she did not bow down.
Former Assam chief minister for three consecutive terms Tarun Gogoi said that this is intolerance in Narendra Modi’s ‘New India’.
“I’m shocked on the heinous crime on Gauri Lankesh who stood against divisive and communal forces like RSS and BJP. Intolerance is rising in Modi's New India,” said Gogoi on Wednesday.
Survived by her mother, filmmaker sister Kavita, theatre worker brother Indrajit with others, Gauri owned and edited ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’, a popular Kannada magazine. Karnataka chief minister and also a senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah condemned her murder and assured proper actions to book the culprits at the earliest.
All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) demanded action from the government. “A strong voice against saffron ideology was silenced in cowardly manner. This is highly condemnable. People who believe in democratic way of life should come together to bring a full stop to this kind of heinous crimes. We want justice for Gauri Lankesh,” said AAMSU general secretary Ainuddin Ahmed.
Prior to Gauri, a Haryana based television journalist (Surender Singh Rana) was shot dead on 29 July. Rana, 35, was associated with the Jammu-based news channel JK 24×7 News. The other victims include Kamlesh Jain, 42, (killed on May 31 in Madhya Pradesh), Shyam Sharma, 40, (May 15 in MP), Brajesh Kumar Singh, 28, (3 January in Bihar) and Hari Prakash, 31, (2 January in Jharkhand).
India lost five journalists to assailants in 2015, which was preceded by two cases in 2014. However, 2013 reported as many as 11 journalists’ murders, as three northeastern media employees (Sujit Bhattacharya, Ranjit Chowdhury and Balaram Ghosh from Tripura) fell victim to assailants.
Hafiz Ahmed, president of Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad (CCSP), said that by assassinating a person, the idea cannot be killed.
“We condemn the brutal killing of Gauri. You can kill a person, not the idea,” said Ahmed.