Karnataka orders setting up of special courts for Lankesh, Kalburgi trials | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Karnataka orders setting up of special courts for Lankesh, Kalburgi trials

By, Bengaluru
Dec 07, 2023 08:26 AM IST

The CM issued two directives to the state’s home secretary following requests from the families of Kalburgi and Lankesh seeking expedited legal proceedings

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said the state government has ordered setting up of special courts to hear the case pertaining to the murder of renowned Kannada writer MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Gauri Lankesh (55), was shot dead outside her home at Rajarajeshwarinagar in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017 (HT Photo)
Gauri Lankesh (55), was shot dead outside her home at Rajarajeshwarinagar in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017 (HT Photo)

The chief minister issued two directives to the state’s home secretary following requests from the families of Kalburgi and Lankesh seeking expedited legal proceedings.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Kalburgi (77), a renowned Kannada writer and researcher, was murdered on August 30, 2015 at his residence in Dharwad in northern Karnataka. A charge sheet in the case was registered by the police in 2019.

“Though evidence proceedings of the family have been completed, hearing in the court has continued. The wife of the late writer, Umadevi, has requested the setting up of a special court as enough time has passed by,” the chief minister said in a statement released to the media on Wednesday. “Directions have been issued to take urgent steps in this regard.”

With regards to the murder case of Gauri Lankesh (55), who was shot dead outside her home at Rajarajeshwarinagar in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, Siddaramaiah said that the special investigation team (SIT) probing into the case has so far arrested 18 people and filed a charge sheet with 1,200 pieces of evidence and 500 witnesses.

“While the court had started the hearing in the case in July 2022, the case is progressing at a slow pace due to other cases pending before the court,” the statement citing a separate directive to the home secretary said. “The deceased’s sister Kavitha Lankesh has requested setting up of a special court and a full-time judge to hear the case. It has been directed to take urgent steps in this regard.”

Despite the charge sheet in the case being filed under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) in 2018, the trial remains in its initial stages. Only 83 of 500 witnesses in the case have deposed before the court so far. The trial began as late as March 2022, and since then, three judges have changed.

According to investigators, Lankesh and Kalburgi were killed by the same right-wing extremist group. During the probe, the SIT and also unearthed a link with two more cases pertaining to the murder of rationalists Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra SIT, which is probing the 2015 murder of Pansare (82), who was shot five times while returning from a morning walk in Kolhapur, also found that the same gun was used in the Lankesh and Pansare murders.

The link between the murders of Lankesh and Dabholkar (67), who was shot dead while he was out on a morning walk in Pune August 20, 2013, emerged during the later stages of the investigation.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On