Following the brutal murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the Karnataka government has extended security to writers, activists, and rationalists in the state. The Chief Minister’s office confirmed that security has been stepped up for individuals, including writers like Girish Karnad, who have a threat perception.
“Security personnel will man the house of the individuals 24/7. Those who have approached the government with a request for enhanced security will be given a gunman. Security has been heightened after the Chief Minister announced that rationalists, free and progressive thinkers, activists etc from the state will be given security in the aftermath of Gauri Lankesh’s murder,” said an official from the Chief Minister’s office. Currently, Girish Karnad, Yogesh Master, Chandrashekhar Patil aka Champa, Nataraj Huliyar Chennaveera Kanavi, SM Jamdar, K S Bhagwan, Baragur Ramachandrappa, Banjagere Jayaprakashn etc have been given additional security. Those provided securities have been vocal about their opinions on many sensitive issues. The government of Karnataka decided to provide protection to activists and writers who face a ‘threat’. The names that have made it to the ‘secure’ list, however, are individuals who have been critical of right wing organizations and ideologies. “Will the government only provide security to left thinkers? Do the lives of right thinkers not matter? Despite the number of attacks on Sangh workers, the government did nothing to protect them. Why is the government being partial?” asked S Prakash, the co-spokesperson of the Karnataka BJP. The writers and activists have been provided security on a day when Gauri Lankesh’s mother met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah seeking justice for her daughter.