The BJP Yuva Morcha on Monday slapped a legal notice on noted historian Ramachandra Guha seeking an “unconditional apology” for linking the Sangh Parivar with the killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, or face civil and criminal prosecution.
The notice said Guha made the “utterances” intentionally to bring disrepute to the RSS and BJP with an “ulterior motive” and the “direct allegations, insinuations and innuendos” impute criminal conduct.
The notice has been issued by Haranahalli Law Partners on behalf of State BJP Yuva morcha Secretary Karunakar Khasale.
In the aftermath of the brazen shooting of the acclaimed journalist, the historian had said, Lankesh’s murder was “part of a pattern that links the deaths of (Narendra) Dabholkar, (MM) Kalburgi and (Govind) Pansare”.
“The climate of hate and intolerance that has been promoted by this current (BJP) government, aided by television channels and freelance goondas, is complicit in this murder. It is chilling. We are becoming mirror images of Bangladesh and Pakistan, where writers are killed for what they say. This is an attempt to silence all of us, all of those who believe in democracy and decency,” told a media house in an interview.
Guha's name had also not figured in the list of intellectuals, progressive thinkers, and activists who have been given police protection by the state government in the wake of the killing of Lankesh.
In one of his tweets in March, Guha had openly declared that he had been getting identical threat emails warning him against criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and the BJP.
SIT probing Gauri Lankesh murder strengthened
The SIT probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh has been strengthened with 40 additional support staff as investigators continue to grope for clues, six days after the senior journalist was shot dead, sparking a national outrage.
The additional staff includes four inspectors and seven sub-inspectors, police sources said.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) B K Singh, comprises 21 officers.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru West) M N Anucheth said, “Additional staff has been provided to the SIT. At this juncture, we do not want to reveal their names and identity”.
Police sources said the team was scrambling through the footage of CCTV installed by individuals in Rajarajeshwarinagar, where on the night of September 5 unknown assailants shot dead 55-year-old Lankesh at her home.
They said police have also taken the digital video Recorders at the toll gates on five entry points to the city.
One of the aspects of the investigation was to check the involvement of sharp shooters from outside the city.
The killing of Lankesh, Left-leaning journalist-activist, has come in for widespread condemnation.
Meanwhile, at a press conference, former Naxalites Noor Sridhar alias Noor Zulfiqar and Sirimane Nagaraj ruled out the possibility of Naxalites’ involvement in the killing of Lankesh.
“I can tell you the certainty that Naxalites are not involved in the murder as has been reported in a section of the media. This is only an attention diversion technique,” Sridhar said.
Investigators have said they were also probing the Naxal angle.
Media reports had raised the possibility of involvement of Left ultras.
Lankesh’s brother Indrajeet had said that there was a threat to Lankesh from some Left extremists.
In the past, Lankesh had negotiated with the ultras in the forests of Karnataka and made nine of them surrender before the police so that they can join the mainstream of society.
Sridhar and Nagaraj were among those Naxalites who gave up the violent path at the insistence of Lankesh and began leading a normal life.