Mumbai: Bollywood celebrities such as Farhan Akhtar, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Sonam Kapoor and Dia Mirza have condemned the killing of senior journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, calling it an attack on independent press.
The Kannada journalist-activist, known for her left-leaning outlook and forthright views on Hindutva politics, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence on Wednesday night.
Citing a pattern in the murder, Akhtar wrote on Twitter, Lankesh died a similar death as rationalists Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi.
“Dhabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi, and now Gauri Lankesh. If one kind of people are getting killed which kind of people are the killers,” the lyricist-writer tweeted.
Azmi tweeted, “#Gauri Lankesh shot dead outside her home. Shocking. Devastating. Dabholkar Pansare Kalburgi culprits must be punished.”
While Sonam wrote, “Truth alone prevails. Your voice will be heard and shall turn into an echo towards justice. #GauriLankeshMurder.”
Mirza tweeted that the incident was “deeply disturbing” and the perpetrators “must found and punished”.
“To kill someone for their views is not Democracy, its beginnings of a Banana Republic, where violence speaks louder than words #GauriLankesh,” wrote filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.
Director Vivek Agnihotri said, “#GauriLankesh was in my batch at IIMC. An idealist leftist. In the end, became victim of the same politics she believed in and fought for.”
Director Onir raised his voice, saying, “What a shame for the entire nation. #GauriLankesh killing is a blot on our democracy and is an attack on indie press.”
Actor Jaaved Jaaferi wrote, “Extremely dangerous signs when a country witnesses crusaders activists and journalists who question the government being murdered. RIP #GauriLankesh.”
Lankesh, 55, had returned home in her car and was opening the gate when motorcycle-borne assailants fired at her indiscriminately, with two bullets hitting her in the chest and one on her forehead, police officials said.
She died instantaneously.