Probe in rationalist M M Kalburgi murder case headed nowhere

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Investigations into the murder of rationalist and educationalist Professor M M Kalburgi is headed nowhere with no new leads. The Criminal Investigation Department of Karnataka that is probing the case has not made a single arrest even almost two years after Professor Kalburgi was shot dead by assailants outside his residence.

Professor M M Kalburgi

"We have no new leads in the case so far but investigations are continuing. There was a suspicion that the weapon used to murder rationalists Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar was the same as the one used in the Kalburgi case. We questioned those arrested in the previous cases but nothing concrete has come out of it," said Karnataka's Home Minister Dr G Parameshwar. The Home Minister added that the delay in concluding investigations did not mean that the probe was ineffective.

Ballistic experts concluded that Prof Kalburgi was shot with a country-made pistol. Samples of the residue were first tested at the forensic laboratory in Karnataka and later the reports were sent to the Scotland Yard police. The Karnataka police requested for similarities to be drawn between the pistols used in the murder of all three rationalists. Despite a reply from the Scotland Yard police, no arrests have been made so far and neither have the police declared that Prof Kalburgi's killers were the same as Dabolkar and Pansare's.

69-year-old Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. Four bullets from a 7.65 mm countrymade pistol were fired on him. Govind Pansare, an 81-year-old rationalist was shot with five bullets from two 7.65 mm countrymade pistols on February 16, 2015. Prof Kalburgi was killed in Dharwad on August 30, 2015, and two bullets were fired from a 7.65 mm countrymade pistol.

Writers and educationalists across Karnataka have been fuming at the government for not completing probe in the case. Families of the three slain rationalists are extending support to each other and pressing for quick action. In 2016, amid reports of arrests of two people the CID clarified that there were no arrests made in the case. A report had claimed that two people were arrested for murdering prof Kalburgi over a property dispute, a claim that was rejected outrightly by the CID.

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