The Karnataka High Court had granted conditional bail to the main accused, Naresh Shenoy, on September 15.

Murdered activist Vinayak Baligas family files petition challenging bail to accused
news RTI Activist Murder Sunday, November 27, 2016 - 18:41

RTI activist Vinayak Baliga’s family has approached the Supreme Court challenging the bail granted to the main accused in the activist’s murder, Naresh Shenoy, by the High Court. 

Vinayak Baliga was killed in Mangaluru by contract killers on March 21. It is believed that Baliga was killed because of his attempts to expose alleged misappropriation of funds by the authorities of Mangaluru’s Venkataramana temple.

Ramachandra Baliga, the activist’s father, filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking how Naresh Shenoy could be granted bail when the investigation was still incomplete. 

The plea will be heard on Monday, November 28. 

“The family’s counsel includes retired Justice Mohan Das, and advocate Senthil Kumar will be handling the case free of charge,” said rationalist and activist Narendra Nayak.

Naresh Shenoy was granted conditional bail by the Karnataka High Court on September 15.

According to the bail’s conditions, Naresh had to provide a bond of Rs 2 lakh and sureties from two persons. The bail conditions also require that he not interfere in the investigation or destroy any evidence connected to the case.

However, Vinayak’s family allege that a letter sent by him to the head of the Kashi Mutt, Samyamindra Theertha, days before he was murdered has gone missing.

Shenoy is the founder of the Mangaluru unit of the Yuva Brigade, which was originally started as the NaMo Brigade ahead of the 2014 general elections. 

In April, the Second Additional District and Sessions court rejected Shenoy’s plea for anticipatory bail.

Naresh Shenoy (39), was on the run since Baliga’s murder in March, and was arrested in Hejamady in Udupi district in August. He had reportedly been hiding in Jammu Kashmir, Gorakhpur and Lucknow and in areas bordering Nepal.

Police obtained clues to Shenoy’s whereabouts close to two months after the murder, when they arrested Manju Neereshwallya, an associate of Shenoy, who was reportedly protecting him.

Vinayak was killed by assailants wielding lethal weapons in Mangaluru on March 21, when he was on his way to the Venkataramana temple. Vinayak’s family and friends allege that he had made powerful enemies because he had unearthed alleged financial irregularities in the management of a temple, as well as alleged violations by prominent builders. Police had found a large number of documents in Vinayak’s house.

Before Naresh’s arrest, the police had arrested four persons – Vineet Poojary, Nishit Devadiga, Shivaprasad and Shailesh – in connection with the murder.

 

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