New Delhi: Information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday condemned the murder of Gauri Lankesh, senior journalist and editor of Bengaluru tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike. 

In a post on the micro-blogging platform Twitter, Irani called for speedy investigation into the murder and paid condolences to Lankesh’s family. 

Lankesh was shot dead at her home in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Tuesday night by unidentified assailants. Known for her anti-establishment views, she was convicted by a court in Hubbali on defamation charges over a 2008 article that named several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. 

The Editors Guild of India and the Broadcast Editors Association (BEA) have also condemned Lankesh’s killing and asked the government to bring culprits to justice. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Guild said that Lankesh’s killing is “an ominous portent for dissent in democracy and a brutal assault on the freedom of the press". The Broadcast Editors Association said the government should act promptly identify the culprits.

Press associations have organised a protest meet in the national capital on Wednesday against “such attacks on freedom of press".

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh: the journalist who never stopped questioning

A joint statement released by the Press Club of India, Press Association and the Indian Women Press Corp (IWPC) said that a fearless and independent journalist was shot dead “in a most brutal manner in order to silence her voice".

“The fact that she was shot dead at Raja Rajeshwari Nagar at a busy hour on Tuesday evening only indicates how fragile law and order situation has become in Bengaluru and miscreants and criminals are having a free run in the capital city of Karnataka," the statement said. 

The statement demanded that Lankesh's murderers “be identified and brought to book" in a swift manner. “Whatever differences she had with anyone, it was certainly not the way to attack an outspoken journalist who was defenceless and had nothing to offer by way of resistance," the statement added.