On a day when Sirimane Nagaraj and Noor Sridhar, former naxal leaders, rubbished the speculation that Naxals were behind the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh and accused the Sangh Parivar, BJP state president Yeddyurappa has gone on the defensive.
Countering the allegation of Sangh Parivar involvement in the murder, Yeddyurappa said those allegations were merely baseless.
Calling the allegations "ridiculous," Yeddyurappa said: “Let me make it clear the BJP or Sangh Parivar has no link with the murder. We want swift justice and will support the hanging of murderers."
Earlier during the day, Sirimane Nagaraj and Noor Sridhar had held a press meet in which, they refuted allegations that a Naxal leader Vikram Gowda had killed Gauri.
“There is no possibility of Naxal involvement in Gauri’s death. Vikram Gowda is an Adivasi youth. He is innocent and would never even think of killing Gauri Lankesh. There is news that Gauri was killed by Naxals. But that is not true. Even today, Naxals have great respect for Gauri Lankesh. There are some groups which are trying to make Vikram Gowda the scapegoat,” Noor Sridhar said.
Following Gauri's murder last week, Yeddyurappa had criticised the Congress government for failing to provide security to the journalist. When Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had accused the right-wing of their involvement, Yeddyurappa had previously lashed out at the former.
"If Rahul Gandhi has any proof to prove his allegations, he should furnish it," Yeddyurappa had said.
Gauri was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru last week by unknown assailants. Her murder continues to evoke anger from the public and media persons. In CCTV visuals recovered by the police, a bike-borne assailant wearing a helmet can be seen walking up to Gauri and firing at her.