Exactly a year ago, on August 30, 2015, rationalist and Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi was shot dead at his house in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad.
Even now, the assailants remain unknown and the investigation seems to have hit a dead-end.
The 77-year-old scholar was the third rationalist to be murdered in two years.
DG CID Karnataka, Kishore Chandra told The News Minute that no information about the investigation could be revealed at this stage.
In the last year, the CID looked into various angles including the involvement of right-wing activists and personal or property disputes. However, the department could not find conclusive evidence on any front.
Since Kalburgi’s murder, several rationalists and anti-superstition activists in Karnataka have received threats from suspected right-wing activists conspiring to kill them like Kalburgi was.
Kuvempu University Vice Chancellor Mallika Ghanti, writer KS Bhagwan and former minister Lalitha HT had filed police complaints after receiving death threats.
A number of Kannada writers have returned both state and central Sahitya Akademi awards in protest of the government’s failure to apprehend Kalburgi’s murderers as well as the larger atmosphere of “rising intolerance” in the country.
Two other rationalists from Maharashtra, Narendra Dhabholkar and Govind Pansare were also murdered earlier. While Dhabolkar was killed in 2013, Pansare was shot dead in February 2015. CBI has made arrests in both the cases.
In September 2015, Maharashtra Police arrested Samir Gaidwad in connection with the murder of Govind Pansare. This was followed by the arrests of two others from Hukkeri Belagavi district.
CBI has also arrested Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Virendra Singh Tawde from Panvel near Mumbai in connection with Narendra Dabholkar’s murder.