The Karnataka government has said there is conclusive evidence that the killings of scholar M M Kalburgi and rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare are linked.
In the first ever official statement linking the murders, that occurred between August 2013 and August 2015, Karnataka’s Home Minister G Parameshwara Monday said: “Analysis of bullets in…Kalburgi’s case has provided conclusive evidence to link it to the cases of Dabholkar and Pansare.
Comparisons have found that there is a match between the bullets in the three incidents. The findings (of Karnataka Forensic Science Laboratory) had been sent to Scotland Yard and even Scotland Yard has approved it.”
Parameshwara was speaking after his first review of functioning of the state forensic science lab.
Dabholkar (69) was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. Four bullets from a 7.65 mm countrymade pistol were fired on him. Pansare (81) was shot with five bullets from two 7.65 mm countrymade pistols on February 16, 2015. Kalburgi (77) was killed in Dharwad on August 30, 2015 — two bullets were fired from a 7.65 mm countrymade pistol.
Forensic analysis of the cartridges recovered from the three crime scenes and the bullets recovered from the victims’ bodies had revealed a match between markings on the bullets and cartridges in the Kalburgi case and one set of bullets and cartridges in the Pansare case.
A second set of bullets and cartridges in the Pansare case were found to match the material in the Dabholkar case.
The Centre has told the Delhi High Court that 38 writers returned their Sahitya Akademi awards in protest against the Akademi’s alleged “indifference” over the murder of its member and author M M Kalburgi.
The submission was made while hearing a plea seeking guidelines to ensure that those returning awards also return the prize money and royalties earned.
The government in its response said that the authors had not returned the award money. The court has reserved its judgment.