Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy today hit back at Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for alleging that the Congress government in the state had failed to provide security to journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her house here.
He said Prasad was not acquainted with the facts about the slain journalist and that she never asked for security.
“Whenever she met the chief minister or senior police officials, including the DGP, she never asked for security,” he told PTI here.
At a press conference in New Delhi, Prasad showed copies of news reports of Lankesh’s brother, Indrajit, claiming that she had worked for the surrender of Naxalites and asked as to why the Siddaramaiah government had not provided her security.
“Indrajit Lankesh is on record having said publicly that his sister was working actively to ensure the surrender of Naxalites…so was she doing it with the consent and approval of the state government…and if so why was she not provided adequate security?” Prasad had said.
Reddy said that if Gauri Lankesh had sought security, the state government would have given it.
“No government will deny protection to anyone if asked for it. We’d have certainly given her protection,” he said.
“In this light, therefore, the government has decided to give protection to intellectuals even if they haven’t asked for it,” the state home minister said.
On Prasad lashing out at the “so-called liberals” for their double standards and remaining silent on the killings of RSS workers in Karnataka and Kerala, Reddy said, “I would not like to comment on it, but would do so later.”
At the presser, Prasad had said, “Why is that all my liberal friends who speak so eloquently and strongly against the killing of a journalist…maintain conspicuous silence when so many RSS and BJP workers were killed in Karnataka and Kerala.”
The 55-year-old Left-leaning journalist, a fierce critic of Hindutva politics, was shot dead at the doorstep of her house while she was returning from her office earlier this week. Her killing sparked outrage across the country and the state government has formed an SIT to probe it.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has received a report from the Karnataka government on the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh by unidentified persons in Bangalore, an official said.
The state chief secretary in his factual report gave detailed account of the sensational killing and the follow up action by the police.
The report also mentioned that the state government had set up a special investigation team to probe the case and find out those involved in the murder of the 55-year-old journalist, the home ministry official said.
The report came after the ministry asked the Karnataka government to inform it about the details of the incident.
The report was sought after Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to do so.