Indian journalist shot, killed by unknown assailants

An Indian journalist was fatally shot Tuesday by unidentified attackers in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, police said.

The assailants pumped bullets into Gauri Lankesh as she left her car after reaching her home in Bangalore, the Karnataka state capital. The attackers fled the scene.

Top police officer R.K. Dutta said it was too early to say who killed her. He said he had met Lankesh recently, but she did not mention any threat to her life.

She edited a local magazine, "Lankesh Patrike," and was found responsible in a defamation case by a lawmaker of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for her writing about Hindu nationalists in 2016.

In 2015, an Indian scholar, Malleshappa M. Kalburgi, was killed in a similar way, also in Bangalore. He had received death threats from angry right-wing Hindu groups after he criticized idol worship and superstitious beliefs by Hindus.

He was the third critic of religious superstition to be killed in the country in three years.

India has long held secularism to be a keystone of its constitution — and a necessity for keeping the peace among its cacophony of cultures defined by caste, clan, tribe or religion, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism.