Bengaluru, Sep 8 (PTI): 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, thestate 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 liketo 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 ajournalist…maintain conspicuous silence when so many RSSand 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.