Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar
Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar

Bollywood celebrities, including Javed Akhtar, Azmi Shabana and Nandita Das, have expressed their grief over the death of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh.

According to reports, three unidentified men from close range shot the 55-year-old outside her home in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru.

Lankesh was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada tabloid.

She was the elder daughter of P Lankesh - a man who brought in a new brand of Kannada journalism and was also part of a group that worked for communal harmony.

She had faced opposition and criticism for her alleged Leftist and anti-Hindutva views.

In November 2016, she had been found guilty of defamation in a case involving BJP MP Prahlad Joshi and had been sentenced to six months in jail.

She was out on bail.

Following the news, Akhtar took to his Twitter account and wrote, 'Dhabolkar , Pansare, Kalburgi , and now Gauri Lankesh . If one kind of people are getting killed which kind of people are the killers.'

Urging punishment for the culprits, Azmi wrote on her Twitter handle, '#Gauri Lankesh shot dead outside her home.Shocking Devastating. Dabholkar Pansare Kalburgi Culprits must be punished.'

Filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit also posted, 'Please do not forget to get your awards if U have any.#SelectiveActivism #RIPGauriLankesh'

Actress Nandita Das, who was one of the admirers of the late journalist, also tweeted her condolences on Lankesh's death and wrote, 'Shocked & devastated...A person I knew & admired. In recent times we have seen a sharp decline in human rights, free speech, civil liberties.'

Filmmaker Shirish Kunder wrote, 'When "intellectual" becomes an abuse, words are replied with bullets. RIP #GauriLankesh.'

Co-Producer of T-Series Films Priya Gupta shared, '?A dissenting voice is the backbone of a Democracy. Murder of #GauriLankesh is a shame & a crime. Handover her case to #CBI.'