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Kalburgi case: SIT files chargesheet, says Gauri Lankesh’s alleged killer shot researcher Kalburgi

PTI Bengaluru | Updated on August 17, 2019 Published on August 17, 2019

Dr M M Kalburgi. File photo

The SIT said that the reason behind killing Dr Kalburgi was his observations while delivering a keynote address during a discussion on June 9, 2014

The special investigation team, probing the death of researcher Dr M M Kalburgi, said that the he was shot by the hitman allegedly involved in the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh. The team had stated this in the charge sheet filed in he Hubballi-Dharwad district court. Kalburgi was shot dead in August 2015.

The other accused in the case were Amol Kale, Praveen Prakash Chatur, Vasudev Bhagavan Suryavamshi, Sharad Kalaskar and Amith Ramchandra Baddi, the SIT said in a press release.

The gang was allegedly inspired by a book ‘Kshatra Dharma Sadhana’ brought out by the Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu extremist group, the SIT said.

Why was Kalburgi killed?

The SIT said that the reason behind killing Dr Kalburgi was his observations while delivering a keynote address during a discussion on June 9, 2014 under the topic, “Towards a superstition free society”. This was a debate on the enactment of Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill, 2013 and was held at the Vigyan Bhavan in Bengaluru.

Based on his speech, the gang depicted him as a ‘durjan’ (devil incarnate), as mentioned in Kshatra Dharma Sadhana.

“They had jointly hatched a conspiracy to murder Kalburgi in furtherance of the achievement of their goals and executed it,” the SIT said.

The gang members stole a bike to execute their plan, did a recce of their target and did practise shooting in a rubber plantation at Pilathabettu village in Dakshina Kannada district.

“Praveen Chatur and Ganesh Miskin then went on a stolen bike and reached Kalburgis house at about 8.30 am on August 30, 2015.

Ganesh Miskin, the alleged hitman in the Gauri Lankesh case, then went to the house and shot Kalburgi twice on his forehead and killed him, said the SIT.

The same gang had allegedly killed Gauri Lankesh on the evening of September 5, 2017, outside her house.

In the Lankesh case, Miskin allegedly rode the bike while Parashuram Waghmare, another accused in the case, had fired.

The bullets and empty cartridges found at the scene of Lankesh’s murder had reportedly revealed that the same country-made pistol was used to kill Kalburgi, suggesting that one outfit or group was responsible for both the killings.

The SIT, formed to probe into the Lankesh case, was told by the Supreme Court in 2019 to investigate into the Kalburgi case too.

Both the killings had triggered a nationwide protest.

Published on August 17, 2019
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