Bengaluru: The Centre on Wednesday sought a detailed report from the Karnataka government even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ordered a probe by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.
The Left-leaning journalist was shot dead in Bengaluru on Tuesday night.
According to ANI, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had instructed the Union Home Secretary to seek a report on murder of journalist from the Karnataka government.
Meanwhile, amid severe protests over the incident, the Congress government in Karnataka today ordered a SIT probe into the incident.
"An SIT has been formed, headed by an Inspector-General-level officer, to investigate the journalist killing," the Chief Minister said here after meeting top police officers at the state assembly Vidhan Soudha.
Asked if the investigation could be handed over to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, Siddaramaiah said, "Have left it to the Director General of Police (RK Dutta) who will speak to the state Home Minister (Ramalinga Reddy) and decide."
"I have an open mind," the Congress leader said, adding that if the family members insist on a CBI investigation, the state could think about it.
Lankesh, 55, was shot dead by three unidentified men who fired seven bullets at her when she returned home from her office in the city.
Two hit her in the chest and one in the forehead.
She was the editor of popular Kannada tabloid "Gauri Lankesh Patrike".
In November 2016, she was sentenced to six months in jail after a defamation case was filed against her for a report against BJP leaders.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) MN Anucheth had told reporters that three special teams were set up to crack the case.
''They are on the lookout for the suspected assailants. We are tracking the movement of people and vehicles at check posts and inter-state borders," he added.
"We have alerted our counterparts in the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu as well," said Anucheth.
Gauri Lankesh Killing Triggers Political Storm
Meanwhile, the journalist's murder has also triggered a war of words between BJP and Congress.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today lashed out at the BJP saying, “Anybody who speaks against ideology of BJP-RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.”
“PM is a skilled Hindutva politician. There are two meanings of his words, one for his base and another for the world,” Gandhi added.
The BJP had called Rahul Gandhi’s allegations baseless.
“Baseless allegation, we have nothing to with Gauri Lankesh’s murder, onus to maintain law and order is on the state government, that is Congress,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.