Senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead in front of her home on September 5 on the southern fringes of Bengaluru, was said to be working on a series of exposes concerning the prime industrialists and politicians of Karnataka.
According to some close aides of the firebrand journalist, she hinted about a series of articles exposing the corrupt in Karnataka to some friends during her recent trip to Delhi, where she had gone to attend a seminar.
One of her closest friend on condition of anonymity said:
She was obviously silenced.
This close friend, who had been with Lankesh since their graduation days at the Indian Institute of Communications (IIMC) added that Lankesh repeatedly said that she would continue to expose the corrupt in her tabloid – ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’ – since “that’s what a journalist is meant to do”.
She was also aware of the possible consequences that she could face, if she really went ahead with the planned investigative articles. She had planned to publish the articles just before the Karnataka elections.
According to another report, Lankesh was also disturbed by the conflicting views some of her close friends from Bengaluru as well as other regions of India held. She allegedly even told her friends about the innumerable sleepless nights she had spent wondering about “the divisive forces tearing apart India’s secular fabric.”
One of her last tweets before her death on September 5, 2017, read:
why do i feel that some of `us’ are fighting between ourselves? we all know our “biggest enemy”. can we all please concentrate on that?
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— Gauri Lankesh (@gaurilankesh) September 4, 2017
According to police reports, such tweets indicate Lankesh’s uneasy state of mind.
Meanwhile, a local television channel has claimed that Lankesh was followed for a couple of days or three by the killers before they shot her dead.
On the other hand, Public TV claims that the first attempt to kill her was made on September 2, which she narrowly escaped. The channel also claimed that she had also been receiving blank calls for the past few days before her cold-blooded murder.
The channel also quoted police officers that a white car was seen idling near Lankesh’s home for quite a few days.
Where preliminary investigations and CCTV footage indicated that there were three assailants on a motorcycle, the channel claimed that one more assailant was there, who was hiding inside Lankesh’s courtyard.
The police have asked two hackers to retrieve details of Lankesh’s cellphones, which have been seized as evidence.
Even as Bengaluru police continue to remain silent on the case, T Suneel Kumar, an officier from the police commissioner’s office told the media that two senior officers had been given the sensational murder case for investigation.