Fast-track probe to nab MM Kalburgi’s murderers: Siddaramaiah to CID
Two years on, the murderers of revered writer and rationalist MM Kalburgi have still not been nabbed by the CID in Karnataka.
Considering the snail’s pace at which the investigation is progressing, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has instructed CID officials to fast-track the probe. He also said that the CID team is closing in on the killers and that the probe is in its final stage.
“On August 30, as people in the state hold a meeting to mark the second anniversary of the sad killing of Dr MM Kalburgi, I would like to assure the people of Karnataka that my government will make all efforts to bring the criminals to book,” the CM said in a press note.
He told media persons that the Karnataka police team has been given instructions to increase cooperation with the investigating team in Maharashtra and examine all inputs closely.
“I would like to assure the people of Karnataka that our investigating team is close to solving the crime, and appropriate action shall follow soon. I am determined to put the investigation on a fast track,” the statement said.
The 77-year-old rationalist was shot dead by two unidentified men at his residence at Dharwad in north Karnataka on August 30, 2015.
The national outrage which followed Kalburgi’s death led to several renowned writers returning their Sahitya Akademi awards over “rising intolerance”. Many cited the murder of Kalburgi as one of the reasons for their action.
After several delegations of citizens, activists and rationalists expressed their concern about the pace of the investigation, Siddaramaiah said that the home department has taken their sentiments into cognisance.
“The Karnataka government has moved ahead in the matter with full commitment to bringing the criminals to book. Karnataka has a long tradition of thinkers and social reformers. It enjoys the reputation as a State with peace and order. The people of Karnataka have held their writers and thinkers in high esteem and that has helped literature and the arts to flourish in the State,” the CM’s statement said.
“Considering the importance of our pluralistic cultural traditions, our Government is firmly committed to root out any attempt at spreading intolerance in the state and all fanatic fringes spreading fear among the community of writers and intellectuals,” the statement added.
CM Siddaramaiah’s statement said that during the investigations, the probe team analysed all inputs and has been in constant touch with the teams investigating similar killings of Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Comrade Govind Pansare in Maharashtra.
He said that both teams have found close links between the crimes committed in Maharashtra and Kalburgi’s murder.
Narendra Dabolkar, known as the anti-superstition crusader of Maharashtra, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, while Govind Pansare, also a rationalist, was shot in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015. Pansare died in Mumbai four days after the shooting.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the Karnataka government from the family members of MM Kalburgi.
Last week, Prof Megha Pansare, daughter-in-law of the deceased Govind Pansare, met CM Siddaramaiah and asked him to come clean on MM Kalburgi’s murder investigation.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is investigating Pansare’s murder, has arrested and charge-sheeted two people – Virendra Tawde and Samir Gaikwad. Samir is now out on bail.
In the Dabolkar murder, the CBI has zeroed in on two prime suspects — Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar. Sarang is also accused in the October 2009 Goa blast case, and is absconding. Vinay has been missing since 2009.
The forensic reports in all the three cases had revealed that the same weapon was used in the three killings. All three professors were shot with the same .76 country-made pistol, the reports revealed.