The cold-blooded murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh has led to several progressive and democratic organisations to rise in protest. While several leaders allege a Naxal involvement in the murder, a few leaders have accused the RSS of being behind the killing.
An RSS swayamsevak and lawyer in Mumbai on Friday filed a defamation case against Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, party President Sonia Gandhi and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury for allegedly linking journalist Gauri’s murder to the RSS.
The petition by Mumbai-based advocate Dhrutiman Joshi was filed on Friday in the Kurla Magistrate’s Court.
Joshi has included statements attributed to Rahul and Yechury that were reported in the media in the days after the murder.
“Both were critical of the RSS and alleged that RSS ideology had resulted in Gauri Lankesh’s murder,” Joshi told the media.
Joshi said that the statements made by the Congress leaders had defamed the “organisation in the eyes of the common public” and tarnished the RSS’s image “without any proof”.
“I filed the complaint after being personally affected by the statements. After the comments were made, my friends told me RSS’s ideology killed Gauri Lankesh,” he said.
President of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, Sanjay Nirupam told the media that the party would respond legally once the court serves a notice.
Yechury, who was a part of the Rally for Resistance organised by the Forum Against the Assassination of Gauri Lankesh, had spoken out against the RSS, pointing out that Sardar Patel had banned the RSS.
“I stand by that statement. Let them say what they want. I will fight it legally,” Yechury told the media.
The hearing for the criminal defamation complaint filed by Joshi will be heard on October 22. “Statements made by the accused in the complaint and the respective political parties are in utmost sense defamatory and belittle the RSS in the eyes of common public. There was a definite move behind it,” said Joshi.
He said that being an RSS worker, he was humiliated and defamed before the common people.
The complaint claims that comments that were "defamatory and detrimental to the image of the RSS", and have been made without any proof or official statement by the investigating authorities.
Activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her Bengaluru residence on September 5. A Special Investigation Team has been tasked with probing her murder. The SIT is probing all angles, including the involvement of Naxals, who Gauri was working with to aid their surrender, and right-wing groups given that she was a vocal critic of Hindutva politics.