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How Lingayat row made its way into protests over Gauri Lankesh murder

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    Protests over journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder and lack of progress in the investigation took on a new colour on Monday with a writer evoking the ongoing Lingayat row in Karnataka. K Neela while demanding the arrests of Gauri's murderers claimed that prof M M Kalburgi was targeted by fascist forces for deeming Lingayat community independent of Hinduism.

    How Lingayat row made its way into protests over Gauri Lankesh murder

    "Lingayats are not Hindus. 'Manuvaad' from which Hinduism comes stands against everything that the Vachana movement stood for. Basavanna started a movement that opposed divisive, oppressive nature of 'Manuvaad' and this is what Prof M M Kalburgi. He was targeted because he said that Lingayats were not Hindus," K Neela said on Monday while taking part in protests over Gauri Lankesh's murder.

    Multiple organizations under the banner 'forum against Gauri Lankesh murder' came together to stage a protest not just condemning the murder but also questioning the establishment on why no progress had come about in the investigations.

    "The Karnataka government has formed a Special Investigation Team but what has come from it? It is almost a month since the murder and no arrests have been made. The case should not go the M M Kalburgi way. Assailants have to be brought to the books. We will keep our protests going," said social activist and advocate Narasimhamurthy.

    The protests saw massive lashing against the Sangh Parivar for breeding 'intolerance' in the country. "They (Sangh parivar organisations) are teaching people to attack Dalits, women and minorities in the name of dharma, gauraksha etc. They worship weapons as part of their ayudh pooja and show brazen defiance for the law. They should be stopped," Neela added.

    The special investigation team probing the Gauri Lankesh murder case is yet to make any breakthrough in terms of identifying assailants or zeroing on a motive. While Gauri's family, friends, as well as critics and those who she criticised have been questioned, investigators are still clueless over the assailants.

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