Following the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the Intelligence department has advised the police to provide security to 18 writers, rationalists, and progressive thinkers across the State.
Soon after, local police provided security to many eminent people, including Girish Karnad, Baragur Ramachandrappa, Patil Puttappa and Chennaveera Kanavi, among others. Some who are in the forefront of the agitation for a separate religion tag for Lingayats, such as former bureaucrat S.M. Jamdar, have also been provided security. A senior Intelligence officer said the list was drawn up after thorough assessment of threat perception to these individuals in the recent past.
“For those categorised as low security risk, we will give a gunman round the clock and for those categorised as high security risk, we will be providing enhanced security, details of which cannot be discussed,” the official said. Sources told The Hindu that following the murder of M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh, both vocal advocates of separate religion for Lingayats, the threat perception of those active in the movement had gone up several notches.
“Investigation into the Kalburgi murder case had pointed out that he may have been targeted over the Lingayat issue, as Hindutva activists perceive it as dividing the Hindu religion. Gauri Lankesh had also written several articles in support of the demand,” an official said.