The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of Dr MM Kalburgi has filed the chargesheet against six accused persons, almost four years after the eminent litterateur, scholar and researcher was shot dead by unknown assailants at his home in Dharwad district of Karnataka.
Six accused persons have been named in the chargesheet - Amol Kale (37), Ganesh Miskin (27), Praveen Prakash Chatur (26), Vasudev Suryavamshi (29), Sharad Kalaskar (25), and Amith Baddi (27). Though the press note on the chargesheet says the men worked for an unnamed organisation,the six of them are also named as accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case. In the additional chargesheet filed in the Gauri Lankesh case, these men were named as members of the Sanatan Sanstha, a radical pro-Hindu group. One of the accused, Amol Kale is former Pune convenor of the Sanstha-affiliated Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.
"The members of this organization targeted persons who they identified to be inimical to the organization's belief and ideology. These members strictly followed the guidelines and principles mentioned in "Kshatra Dharma Sadhana", a book published by the Sanatan Sanstha, While recruiting new members to the organization emphasis was proven to identify and recruit those persons with a history of aggression and violence and especially those with a criminal background," read a statement by SIT on Kalburgi case.
Conspiracy hatched after anti-superstition statements
Kalburgi was shot dead on August 30, 2015 at his home in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad. Investigating officials said that the accused persons began hatching the plot to kill Kalburgi after a speech he made in Bengaluru on June 9, 2014. In his address, Kalburgi had referenced a passage from a book written by UR Ananthamurthy and had made certain observations, particularly about idol worship. This had made Kalburgi a target of a campaign by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other pro-Hindu outfits which had burnt his effigy and called for his arrest.
Between January and May 2015, Amol Kale, Ganesh Miskin and Praveen Chatur, met several times at the Indira Gandhi Glasshouse in Hubballi. The trio studied Kalburgi's daily routine and recce'd his home and neighborhood in Dharwad. In August 2015, Ganesh and Praveen further took up shooting practice in Pilathabettu village in Dakshina Kannada under the guidance of Amol.
On August 30, 2015, the trio met at the Indira Gandhi Glasshouse in Hubballi, where Amol handed a 7.65 mm caliber country-made pistol to Ganesh and Praveen. The duo then travelled to Kalburgi's residence on a stolen bike at around 8:30 am. Ganesh entered the house and shot Kalburgi twice on his forehead to kill him while Praveen and Amol fled from the spot, investigating officials said.
In July 2019, Umadevi Kalburgi, wife of MM Kalburgi, identified Ganesh as one of the assassins involved in the murder. All six persons accused are facing charges under under sections 120(8), 302, 449, 109, 201 r/w 35 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 25(1A) 25(18) and 27(1) of the Indian Arms Act.
Members of the Sanatan Sanstha or Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, have been arrested in the murder cases of Kalburgi, Dabholkar, Pansare and Lankesh. Investigating officials have stated that the accused members conspired to kill a number of rational people.