Senior Indian Gauri Lankesh was gunned down on Tuesday evening as she returned to her home in Bangalore, capital of the state of Karnataka.
Police say her assailants fled on a motorbike after shooting the veteran editor in the head and chest.
Lankesh, 55, edited a weekly independent magazine and was a vocal critic of right-wing and Hindu nationalist politics. In November, she was found guilty of defaming lawmakers from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a case she said was politically motivated. She had vowed to appeal the verdict and was released on bail at the time of her death.