Even as protests and condemnation erupted over the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, there were some on Twitter, apparently right-wing supporters, who said the noted Kannada journalist-activist “deserved” what she got and also asked why the Karnataka government gave a “Naxal” supporter a state funeral.
Nikhil Dadhich, who claims to be a garment manufacturer on his Twitter profile, posted a tweet that appeared to be an abusive reference to the slain journalist.
Dadhich’s Twitter account is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and many political leaders, including Congress leader Digvijaya Singh have questioned why the Prime Minister was following the account.
While Dadhich later deleted his tweet, and in subsequent posts claimed his earlier tweet was not in reference to Lankesh, there were many who decided to rally behind him, with Akash J. Dave, a member of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of BJP tweeting a #IstandWithNikhil to “show unity” in his support.
Raj Tiwaria said: “Everyone nationalist with @nikhildadhich bhai”.
Sonam Mahajan, who describes herself as a “politically aware Dogra Hindu” on Twitter, said: “Who killed Gauri Lankesh?
“The very mindset that she endorsed. She always hailed naxal terrorists. If you live by gun, you will die by gun.”
Another Twitter user Naina said: “Investigations R not yet over but Ecosystem is on overdrive to blame RSS, Bjp, Hindus.Same narrative like Hindu Terror #GauriLankeshMurder.”
Film maker Vivek Agnihotri said Lankesh was his batch mate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), and said: “Gauri Lankesh was in my batch at IIMC. An idealist leftist. In the end, became victim of the same politics she believed in and fought for.”
A twitter account named Hindu Voice said: “Who’s this Gauri Lankesh?? Hundreds of Hindus are murdered everyday… esp in Kerala & Karnataka… no one makes such a fuss… Why Now??”
BJP member Priti Gandhi ameanwhile questioned why Lankesh was given a state funeral.
“What???? State funeral for Gauri Lankesh?? In what capacity?? Are there any protocols to be followed, or not??” she tweeted.
Another Twitter user ‘Ashih Mishra Pune’ suggested that Lankesh deserved what she got, though he later deleted the tweet.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted his condemnation of those expressing happiness at the murder.
“I strongly condemn & deplore the messages on social media expressing happiness on the dastardly murder of #Gaurilankesh,” the Minister posted.
Senior Kannada journalist and social activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on Tuesday night by unidentified men at her residence, police said. She was 55.