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Kalburgi murder: SC issues notices to NIA, CBI on plea for SIT probe

Kalburgi’s wife, in her petition, alleged that no substantial probe has been done by NIA and CBI so far in the murder case.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2018 19:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kalburgi’s murder,rationalist Kalburgi,NIA
Professor MM Kalburgi was a Left ideologue and a former vice chancellor of the Hampi University .(HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the National Investigation Agency and Central Bureau of Investigation on a petition seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the murder of author-rationalist MM Kalburgi almost three years ago.

The plea, filed by Kalburgi’s wife Uma Devi through advocate Krishna Kumar, alleged there was a common link between this incident and the murders of intellectuals Narendra Achyut Dabholkar and Govindrao Pansare.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also gave the Maharashtra and Karnataka governments six weeks to respond to Devi’s claim that no substantial investigation had been carried out in her husband’s murder so far. She has sought a dedicated SIT under the supervision of a retired apex court or high court judge to unravel the “conspiracy” behind the crime.

While Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, Pansare was murdered in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015. The petition alleged that the investigations into both the cases were in a “sorry state”, and there has been no progress in tracing the killers.

The Bombay high court began supervising the investigations into both the cases after the victims’ families expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which they were being conducted.

Kalburgi, the former vice-chancellor of Hampi University, was shot dead at his residence in Kalyan Nagar, Dharwad, on August 30, 2015. The well-known scholar and epigraphist was 77 years old.

Devi’s petition relied on a statement made in 2016 by the then Karnataka home minister that there was conclusive evidence to link the three murders, and the same had been established through a forensic analysis of the cartridges recovered from separate crime scenes. One of the weapons used to kill Pansare was also used to eliminate Kalburgi, it said.

Uma Devi alleged that there was no coordination between the governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka as well as the probe agencies concerned. “Although sketches of suspects were released after four days of Kalburgi’s murder, and the Karnataka government issued a statement that conclusive evidence of a link between the three murders had been obtained, there has been no progress in the investigation till date,” the plea said.

First Published: Jan 10, 2018 13:17 IST