A rationalist who fought against religious fundamentalism all her life, Gauri Lankesh was buried on Wednesday without any religious rites in honour of her beliefs. Her brother, Indrajit, announced ahead of the burial that there will be no rituals during Gauri’s final journey.
The veteran editor, who was murdered on Tuesday, was given a police guard of honour with a gun salute ahead of the burial.
The ambulance from Ravindra Kalakshetra, where her body was kept for the public to pay homage, reached the Lingayat Rudrabhoomi burial ground at Chamrajpet in Bengaluru at 4 PM.
CM Siddaramaiah pays his last tributes; PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak.
In the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the state police accorded her with full state honours.
Gauri’s brother Indrajit Lankesh, her mother, family, friends, actor Prakash Raj and Basava guru Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swami were present at the burial ground.
Image source: Basava Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swamiji/Facebook
"Gauri was a rationalist and did not believe in any religious customs. We will not go against her ideologies during funeral," Indrajit told the media.
A large crowd that had gathered at the burial ground chanted songs, and raised slogans as her body was lowered into the grave. The only ritual that many in the ground followed was to throw a handful of soil into the pit.
As per her wishes, her eyes have also been donated.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Samsa open air theatre in Ravindra Kalakshetra on Wednesday to pay homage to her.
Gauri Lankesh's family grieve near her mortal ramains; PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak.
Gauri was murdered outside her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Tuesday evening by unidentified persons.
The murder sparked off protests across several parts of the country including Bengaluru, Chennai, Trivandrum, Hyderabad and Delhi.
Investigations are currently underway to identify the men who shot her. Footage from two CCTV cameras found in the vicinity of the house — one in front of the house and one at the door of the house — have been sent for analysis.
Gauri's body had three entry and exit wounds, one of the doctors who conducted the post-mortem told The Hindu. She had received two bullets to the chest and one to her abdomen.
The doctor, who did not wish to be named, told the publication that Gauri had died due to excessive bleeding resulting from shock and hemorrhage. Her vital organs (including her heart and lungs) had been damaged.
The 55-year-old was the daughter of writer, translator and journalist P Lankesh. She was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, and was a columnist in both Kannada and English.