On Tuesday evening, as soon as veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh entered her home in Rajarajeswari Nagar area in Bengaluru, seven bullets were fired at her. While four missed the target, three hit her – two in the chest and one on her forehead killing her on the spot. She was reportedly being followed by unidentified men since she stepped out of her office to reach home on Tuesday. The police have recovered the CCTV footage but no one has been identified as of now.
Her death has yet again brought the discussion on the freedom of speech in India in the spotlight. Are we free to speak out our mind? Was she killed for being a staunch critic of the right-wing and Hindutva politics? Was she a threat to the Maoists and could they have been behind a murder? Several conspiracy theories have been doing the rounds since the time she was shot dead. While some theories seem somewhat credible, and are even being probed by the police, others despite being completely absurd are going viral on social media.
The details of the case are yet to be out, but on the web, the Left vs Right finger pointing is raging on. Here are some of the theories that are doing the rounds:
#1 Right-wing fringe killed her
Gauri was quite outspoken against right-wing fringe politics. She was convicted in a defamation case last year against a complaint filed by Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi and BJP leader Umesh Dushi for a report about them which she published in her Kannada tabloid ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’. A lot of people on Twitter are pointing out that it was this that got her killed.
#2 Congress supporters killed her
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called Gauri’s death a ‘great loss’ and has ordered the formation of a special investigation team to probe the incident. Meanwhile, as per a theory on Twitter, Congress is also being held responsible for the murder of the veteran journalist. Some believe that she met with this fate as she was probing a corruption case against the Congress government in the state. There have also been many who have been seeking the CM’s resignation over the death.
#3 ‘Left wing forces’ killed her
Although she was a pro-left activist, some theories suggest that Left wing members might have been involved in her murder. They say that the Left might have killed her to show RSS and the right-wing fringe groups ‘in a bad light’. They are also claiming that she might have been killed because of her proximity to the Naxals.
#4 Naxals killed her:
Gauri was in the thick of the Naxal movement in Karnataka. She advocated for justice for tribals and was also in a committee to convince Naxal activists to give up their arms. However, some say that Naxals could have been behind her murder because though she sympathised with the Naxals, she was against the extremist ways that they often chose. The theory claims that these extremists could have been behind her murder.
#5 This rather insane theory
While the above mentioned might have some truth, is there any way this can be justified? This is beyond bizarre!
#6 Siddaramaiah govt corruption story
She was apparently writing a story on corruption cases in the Siddaramaiah led Congress government in Karnataka. Conspiracy theorists believe that she was killed as a move to silence her and suppress the case.
And the last but the biggest reason of all, she spoke!
What is forcing everyone to come to conclusions even before any evidence whatsoever is gathered? Or has everyone already accepted that this case, like many other murders in the past, may also remain unsolved. The investigation into the murders of well-known activists Narendra Dhabolkar, MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare has not yet been completed but we certainly hope the facts of those as well as Gauri Lankesh’s murder come out and justice is met.
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