Indian journalist shot dead in Bangalore

 Gauri Lankesh was known as a fearless and outspoken journalist
Gauri Lankesh was known as a fearless and outspoken journalist

A prominent Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics has been shot dead in the southern state of Karnataka, police say.

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Gauri Lankesh, 55, was found lying in a pool of blood at her doorstep in the city of Bangalore.

She was shot in the head and chest by gunmen who arrived by motorcycle. The motive for the crime was not clear.

Ms Lankesh is the most high profile Indian journalist to be murdered in recent years.

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Indian reporters are being increasingly targeted by radical Hindu nationalists, activists say.

In the last few years, journalists seen to be critical of Hindu nationalists have been berated on social media, while many women reporters have been threatened with rape and assault.

Ministers belonging to India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have also openly attacked journalists, using terms like "presstitute" (a mix of press and prostitute) to describe them.

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Who was Gauri Lankesh?

Gauri Lankesh, was known by many simply as Gauri. She edited a weekly newspaper and was known as a fearless and outspoken journalist. She was known for her secularist criticism of right-wing and Hindu nationalists, including members of the BJP.

She worked for The Times of India and later ran an independent newspaper, Lankesh Patrike, along with her brother Indrajit for several years. The newspaper had been founded by her father, P Lankesh, a left-wing poet and writer.

After a split with her brother, she left to start several publications, including her own newspaper Gauri Lankesh Patrike.

Award-winning filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh was her sister.