MORE THAN 2,500 people, including intellectuals and writers from across the country, held a protest in the north Karnataka town of Dharwad on Tuesday, seeking justice for Kannada literary scholar M M Kalburgi, who was murdered exactly a year ago. Demanding results in the murder probe in two weeks time, the protesters took part in a silent march from Kalburgi’s residence — where he was killed — to a public rally venue.
Kalburgi was gunned down by two unidentified men on August 30 last year. It followed similar shootings that claimed the lives of two rationalists in Maharashtra — Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare — on August 20, 2013 and February 16, 2015 respectively.
Family members of Dabholkar and Pansare too participated in the march from Kalburgi’s residence in Kalyan Nagar to the RLS College ground in Dharwad Tuesday morning.
Kannada writer Chandrasekhar Patil, who was among those who returned their Sahitya Akademi awards last year in protest against increasing intolerance, criticised the slow progress in the probe in the Kalburgi case. “We will not sit quiet until the culprits are brought to book,” he said.
Kalburgi’s son Sri Vijaya said his father, Dabholkar and Pansare continue to live through their thoughts and writing. “Their killers are dead even if they are alive physically. They are cowards and anti-nationals,” Vijaya said.
Pansare’s daughter-in-law Megha said rational and progressive thoughts cannot be killed by murdering people. “This protest shows that we will not keep quiet. Investigations in these three cases have not reached their logical end. Two persons have been arrested so far. Their associations have shown who is behind these murders,” she said.
Dabholkar’s daughter Mukta and Megha said that Kalburgi’s family should approach the courts if they wanted investigations to progress.
Meanwhile, some organisations under the banner of Hindu Organisations Collective held a counter protest in Dharwad and alleged that the intellectuals and writers were falsely accusing the Sanatan Sanstha of involvement in the murder of the three rationalists.
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