Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has instructed CID officials to fast track the probe into the killing of rationalist and Kannada writer M M Kalburgi at Dharwad in August 2015. “On August 30, as people in the state hold meeting to mark the second anniversary of the sad killing of Dr M M Kalburgi, I would like to assure the people of Karnataka that my government will make all efforts to bring the criminals to book.”
“The Karnataka police team has been given instructions to increase cooperation between the investigating team in Maharashtra and the investigating team in Karnataka and to examine all inputs closely,” Siddaramaiah said. “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,” he was quoted in a statement released by his office.
The 77-year-old Kalburgi fell to the bullets of two unidentified men at his residence at Dharwad in north Karnataka, considered the state’s cultural capital, in August 30, 2015.
The state CID is probing the killing, which has led to national outrage with several writers returning their Sahitya Akademi awards over “rising intolerance”, citing the murder of Kalburgi as one of the reasons for their action. Explaining about the investigation so far, the Chief Minister said during the investigations, the probe team has 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 both teams have found close links between the crimes committed in Maharashtra and the crime committed in Karnataka. Anti-superstition crusader Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, while Pansare, a prominent anti-toll activist and rationalist, was shot-at in Kolhapur on 16 February 2015.
He died in Mumbai four days later. Pointing out that during the last year several delegations of concerned citizens had expressed their anguish to him about the investigation, Siddaramaiah said taking cognisance of their sentiment, 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,” he 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,” he said.