Amidst the public outcry over the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, there are a few who are alleging a political agenda behind the incident. One such person who negatively commented on Lankesh’s death on micro-blogging site Twitter is Jagrati Shukla. Shukla is a former Network 18 and Zee Media employee.

In her Twitter bio, Shukla calls herself a “nationalist”. She goes on to question if Lankesh’s murder is a communist conspiracy for political mileage. In a span of a few hours, she kept tweeting, justifying the journalist’s death. She also mocked the people who are mourning her death.

This took a while for the twitteratti to digest and then they also indulged in blaming, and cyber bullying Shukla. Now she is at the receiving end of rape threats and sexist bullying on social media.

While the Karnataka Government has asked for a CBI probe into the issue, Shukla declared that it was a leftist agenda-driven murder. She accused communists of murdering Lankesh for political gains.

After the whole outrage, on Wednesday, Shukla started a Twitter thread explaining that she does not empathise with Lankesh and won’t mourn her death. She went on to say that because of Lankesh’s involvement in the Naxalite movement, she doesn’t want to “waste a bullet on her”.

“#GauriLankesh is just a part of the gang of left liberals who siege Indian media. But are rattled due to the apparent change in status quo,” she tweeted.

She defended her stand by bringing Freedom of Expression into the debate. She tweeted, “If supporting any ideology (be it Naxal) is FoE, than I too hv my ideology. Ur calling me names, threatening 2 rape & kill violates my FoE.”

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In 2016, when Shukla was still a part of Zee media group, a person started a petition on Change.org. The petition was for Zee Media to remove Jagrati Shukla for bigotry.

“Over Twitter and other social media outlets, she exposed her extremist view points, bigotry, communalist leanings, and hatred for the most oppressed by the caste apartheid in India,” read the petition

“Over Twitter and other social media outlets, she exposed her extremist view points, bigotry, communalist leanings, and hatred for the most oppressed by the caste apartheid in India,” read the petition.

Deep Singh, who started the petition, pointed out that Shukla made some questionable comments against the Dalit, Sikh and Muslim community.

The petition received 5,493 signature to remove Shukla from her job for the kind of radical statements she posts on her social media.

On September 5, Gauri Lankesh was shot in her own house, sending shockwaves throughout the country. The media has alleged that Lankesh’s fiery right wing stance is the reason behind her murder.

People are connecting the dots between the past murders of rationalists Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi with Lankesh’s killing.

In such circumstances, Shukla’s comments have stunned the twitteratti. In turn, they came out all guns blazing, by resorting to the lowest level of cyber bullying against her.

Picture credit- IB Times

More Stories by Poorvi Gupta

 

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