Mangaluru police have detained two persons — suspected to be professional or ‘supari’ killers — in connection with the brutal murder of RTI activist Vinayaka Baliga. The police is on the lookout for their bosses.
Fifty one-year-old Baliga, whose head was split into two by the killers right outside his house, was not affiliated to any organisation or group and had made powerful men in coastal Karnataka his enemies.
On Thursday, Baliga was to appear in court against MB Puranik, the coastal region head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
In his complaint, copies of which are with HT, Baliga had accused Puranik of violating the sanctioned plan for a school building. Baliga had also filed a case against Congress sympathiser Ramesh Kumar, one of the city’s most influential builders, for not following building norms at one of his largest construction projects.
“Around 15 days ago, he had managed to get an order passed from the Karnataka high court directing the Mangalore City Corporation to conduct a survey of violations by big builders in the city,” says Narendra Nayak, president of the Indian Rationalists’ Federation.
Baliga had filed at least 91 RTI applications seeking information on some of the largest builders in the city, say police sources, who recovered a large cache of documents from Baliga’s house.
“It is true that he had filed cases against many people. We are aware that some of them are very powerful people. We have started interrogating many of them already,” said Mangalore police commissioner Chandra Sekhar.
Meanwhile, Puranik said, “I am a respectable man and I have nothing to hide.”