"All I want is justice for my sister.”
"I am very proud of my sister. She was a firebrand journalist."
“My sister was the best friend you could have, she had no personal enemy, only ideological enemies,” Indrajit Lankesh said to The Hindustan Times.
However, the emotional statements issued by Gauri Lankesh's brother contradict the reality of their relationship.
Despite Indrajit taking the spotlight in the aftermath of his sister’s murder, many in Karnataka’s political and media circles have been long aware of the feud between Gauri Lankesh and her brother. The rift dates back to 2000, when the death of their father P Lankesh, a famous journalist, drove apart the siblings when they attempted to run his paper, Lankesh Patrike, together.
According to a report in The Outlook, their fights were so extreme that Gauri, in 2005, approached the police claiming her brother threatened her with a ‘gun’. In February 2005, Indrajit withdrew a report approved by Gauri in the paper, alleging that it favoured the Naxalites. Outlook reports, “Indrajit filed a police complaint against her, accusing her of stealing a computer, printer and scanner from the publication's office. She filed a counter complaint, accusing Indrajit of threatening her with a revolver. Indrajit even went to press to accuse her of promoting Naxalism through the paper.”
Lankesh Patrike was soon split into two - one owned by Indrajit continued under the original name, while the other taken over by Gauri was rechristened as Gauri Lankesh Patrike.
The estranged brother's prominent presence in the wake of her murder, including Gauri's post mortem at Victoria Hospital, led many to believe that her death may have healed the family feud. However, sources from both Congress and the BJP claim that Indrajit is, in fact, trying to gain publicity to charter an entry into politics.
A source from BJP said that Indrajit had recently been eyeing the post of MLC in the Congress party under the media quota, which has remained vacant since 2000. According to this source, Gauri allegedly thwarted the attempt by reaching out to party leaders like Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, HK Patil and the likes. A furious Indrajit apparently claimed Gauri was motivated by her own ambition as she was vying for the same post. Siddaramaiah is said to have decided to leave the quota unfilled rather than embroil himself in sibling rivalry.
Indrajit, rejected by the Congress, switched sides. A source from the Congress claims that Indrajit wanted to distance himself from the Congress and get closer to BJP. He even organised a programme at the Town Hall two months ago, inviting BJP's senior leaders like Yeddyurappa.
These claims have been refuted by Indrajit who told Newsable,”I am not associated with any political party.”