The file photo shows slain Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh.
An Indian journalist, known for her outspoken criticism of right-wing Hindu nationalist politics
, has been shot dead in the country’s southern state of Karnataka.
According to Press Trust of India
(PTI), “motorcycle-borne assailants” shot Gauri Lankesh, 55, when she was opening the entry gate to her home in the state capital, Bangalore, on Tuesday night. She died “instantaneously” after two bullets hit her chest and one her forehead.
Officials have launched an investigation into the incident. They say the assailants might have put Lankesh under surveillance.
“Absolutely shocked to learn about the murder of renowned journalist Gauri Lankesh. I have no words to condemn this heinous crime,” chief minister Siddaramaiah said on Twitter late Tuesday.
“I have spoken with the DGP (Director General of Police), and instructed him to ensure prompt and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Siddaramaiah added.
India’s progressive Karnataka state has recently witnessed a number of targeted killings of political activists and scholars.
Political activists have warned that extremist Hindu nationalists and radical nationalist journalists are increasingly targeting Indian journalists with online smear campaigns and threats of physical violence.
In 2015, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders rated India as the deadliest country in Asia