The Karnataka unit of the BJP has sent a legal notice to noted historian Ramachandra Guha for linking the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh to the Sangh Parivar, say reports.
News18 reports that the BJP, whose ideological mentor RSS is part of the Sangh Parivar, has demanded an unconditional apology from Guha.
The report quoted Karnataka BJP spokesperson Ashwath Narayana as saying, "If Ramachandra Guha does not apologise, our party will initiate a legal process and take this to the court. Not just Guha, we are observing everyone who makes such comments, and notices will be issued to them, too."
The notice accuses Guha of making false allegations to harm the image of the BJP and the RSS.
India Today quoted the notice as saying, "Your baseless utterances are also calculated to influence and mislead the on-going investigations of the said incidents. This amounts to illegal interference in the course of justice and is also a grave offence."
It also warns Guha that the BJP will initiate criminal proceedings against him if he fails to apologise.
In the aftermath of Lankesh's murder, Guha had said, "The climate of hate and intolerance that has been promoted by this current (BJP) government, aided by television channels and freelance goondas, is complicit in this murder. It is chilling. We are becoming mirror images of Bangladesh and Pakistan, where writers are killed for what they say. This is an attempt to silence all of us, all of those who believe in democracy and decency."
After the news of the notice, Guha took to Twitter to say that journalists were harassed in India, but they won't be silenced.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee said the answer to a book or article can only be another book or article. But we no longer live in Vajpayee's India— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) September 11, 2017
In India today, independent writers and journalists are harassed, persecuted, and even killed. But we shall not be silenced.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) September 11, 2017
Lankesh, who was an open critic of the Sangh Parivar and an advocate of freedom of speech, was gunned down by three bike-borne assailants at her Bengaluru home on September 5.
Her murder had drawn criticism and condemnation from people from all walks of life, including from noted academicians like Ramachandra Guha.