Sringeri BJP MLA DN Jeevaraj has made provocative statements about senior journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder, suggesting that she was killed for her statements against the right wing, reported TV9 Kannada.
Speaking at a bike rally in Koppa taluk in Chikmagalur on Wednesday, Jeevaraj – a former BJP whip in the Karnataka Assembly – made the statements while trying to argue that the BJP provided better safety and security than the Congress.
In the video accessed by Public TV, Jeevaraj is heard saying, “When BJP workers were murdered, if this same Gauri Lankesh had condemned Siddaramaiah, would her murder have happened?”
“She may have written some things against us in her paper. That is democracy, that is a different matter. But who will pay the cost of her life?” he asked.
Going further, Jeevaraj also hit out at the language that Gauri had used in her writing, titling her article ‘Chaddigala Maaranahoma’ (Death of the RSS). “If she had not written ‘chaddis’ maaranahoma’ in her paper that day, would she still be alive today?” he asked.
“(Under the BJP government) was Kalburgi killed? Was Gauri Lankesh killed? Then, BJP had protected everyone,” the MLA added.
Reacting to the statements, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “What is the meaning of that? What is the inference we should draw if a statement like that is given? Doesn’t it seem like these people are behind it?”
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Gauri’s sister Kavitha Lankesh said that she believed her sister had been killed over ideological differences. Asked to elaborate, Gauri’s brother Indrajit replied on Kavitha’s behalf to say, “She was a hardcore critic of right wing extremists. She was leftist in her viewpoint. She was criticizing them through her tabloid. So, police are investigating if that’s the intention behind her killing. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had asked her to be the head of a committee which dealt with bringing the Naxalites into the mainstream. And as Gauri was helping to rehabilitate them. So that is another angle.”
Watch the video of Jeevaraj’s speech and CM Siddaramaiah’s response here: