New Delhi, Aug 31: Left parties on Monday condemned the "dastardly" killing of progressive Kannada thinker and scholar M M Kalburgi and demanded swift action to apprehend the culprits involved in the "heinous" crime.
The Left parties said the attack on Kalburgi was similar to the attack on senior CPI leader Govind Pansare (February 2015) and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar (2013), in Maharashtra's Kolhapur and Pune respectively and claimed there is a "sinister design" to target eminent educationists.
"The CPI(M) politburo expresses its deep shock and condemnation of dastardly killing of Professor Kalburgi. Extremist communal elements are suspected to be behind the murder.
"The party demands Karnataka government and police to take speedy and effective action to apprehend culprits and those behind this heinous crime and conveys its heartfelt condolences to all his family members," the CPI(M) said in a statement.
CPI national secretary D Raja shared similar sentiments and expressed concerns over delay in investigating Pansare and Dabholkar's murders.
"Same pattern has been followed in all three cases. This is a sinister design to target such personalities who are eminent educationists, rationalist and stood for secularism," the Rajya Sabha member said. CPI (Marxist-Leninist) claimed right wing "terrorists have been feeling emboldened by Modi Government" which has been "weakening" many terror cases against them.
Party politburo member Kavita Krishnan demanded a speedy probe in Kalburgi's murder and also sought investigation into funding and training of right wing terror outfits.
Reacting to the incident involving Kalburgi, cultural NGO Sahmat said the killing is a part of an "intensifying war" against critical thinking by social forces that use obscurantist belief in quest of political hegemony.
On Dharwad police's alleged remarks that they suspect property dispute involving Kalburgi's widowed daughter behind his killing, Sahmat accused cops of trying to "distract attention from the heinous crime and prepare a prospective alibi for their inability and lack of will in pursuing the murderers".
The Sahmat statement was issued by its members like MK Raina, Ram Rahman, Prabhat Patnaik, Irfan Habib, Asad Zaidi, Indira Arjun Dev, Madhu Prasad, Zoya Hasan and others.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Hampi University, Kalburgi, was shot dead at his residence in Dharwad yesterday by unidentified gunmen, police said.
Kalburgi, 77, was an associate of Pansare and had drawn ire of some right-wing Hindu outfits like VHP and Bajrang Dal over his remarks about idol worship by Hindus. Kalburgi had often spoken against superstitions and courted controversies with his outspoken stand.