Girish Karnad was on the hit list of right-wing groupPTI | Bengaluru | Updated: 10-06-2019 17:54 IST | Created: 10-06-2019 17:35 IST
Veteran playwright and Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad, who passed away here Monday, was on the hit list of a right-wing group which allegedly shot dead journalist Gauri Lankesh, according to the Special Investigation Team that probed her murder. Karnad, known as a fearless liberal voice with his strong position against strident Hindutva, came under the radar of the right-wing group for never mincing words to flay communalism, it said. The SIT had found a diary from the alleged killers of Lankesh, who was shot dead at her house on September 5, 2017, in which Karnad's name was present on top of the hit list they had prepared, the investigation officials had told PTI. The SIT, in its charge sheet against those arrested in connection with the Lankesh murder case, said the accused were inspired by a book 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhana' which roughly translates to "practising the code for warriors".
The group, headed by Amol Kale and Sujeeth Kumar, had named anti-Hindu people as 'Durjan' or evil people. The unnamed group had decided that it was essential to eliminate such "evil people", including Karnad, the SIT officials said.
To achieve their 'goal', they had even surveyed Karnad's house to track his movement. It was learnt that they had planned to kill Karnad a year before Lankesh, but due to some glitch, deferred their decision and focused on Lankesh, the officials said. During a protest to mark the first death anniversary of Lankesh, Karnad had put on a placard around his neck which read "Me Too Urban Naxal". Subsequently, a complaint was lodged against him. A staunch critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnad was among the 600 theatre personalities who signed a memorandum, asking people to vote against the BJP.