Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday, September 5 said that the mentality that killed Mahatma Gandhi, who lived a very pious life, also killed Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, and M.M. Kalburgi. In his remarks at programme 'Sarvadhikaarada hottalli deshavannu marukattuva kalpane' (Rebuilding of nation in the times of dictatorship) organised by Gauri Memorial Trust in memory of slain journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh at the town hall, he said: "Mahatma Gandhi lived a very secular life. Those who could not tolerate this mentality killed him. Gauri Lankesh is not with us today but her indomitable spirit is with us."
"Not only Mahatma Gandhi, Gauri Lankesh, they are writing threatening letters to all those who follow Basavadi Sharanas, Ambedkar, Buddha's ideology and oppose caste inequality and religious conflict," he said, assuring that the anti- social elements who are writing threatening letters to the writers, will be arrested and brought to justice no matter how powerful or influential they are.
"Gauri's soul will find peace only when the accused who killed Gauri are punished. I have discussed this with the police officers and got the information. In the over a thousand page charge sheet submitted, over 500 witnesses have been named. We have got information that the trial of the case is also going on quickly in the court. The professionalism and effort of the investigation team will not be wasted." He said that he is sure that the accused will be punished.
"Gauri Lankesh was the voice of the voiceless in the society. When I first became Chief Minister, Gauri met me dozens of times. But never once did she meet me seeking help for the newspaper, for her family, or for personal work. She came to seek solutions for the problems of tribals, farmers and workers," he said, expressing his sadness that Gauri was killed by those who could face her ideologically.
Former Kerala Minister KK Shailaja Teacher congratulated Siddaramaiah for defeating the ideology of the BJP and the RSS, which divided the people on the basis of caste and practiced corruption. Farmers leader Rakesh Tikait presided over the event, while human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, political activist Angela Rangad, multilingual actor Prakash Raj, Shailaja Teacher, Supriya Shrinate, Muslim Union leader Yasin Malpe, and former minister Anjaneya presented their thoughts.