Police filed a chargesheet in the murder of Karnataka scholar MM Kalburgi today, four years after he was shot dead outside his Dharwad home in August 2015. The case was initially probed by the Crime Investigation Department, before being handed over to a special investigation team looking into the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
Like Dr Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in front of her Bengaluru residence on September 5, 2017.
Six men from Maharashtra and Karnataka were named as the accused in the charge-sheet filed today. "The investigation has so far revealed that all the above accused persons are active members of an unnamed organisation. The members of this organisation targeted persons (opposed) to the organisation's beliefs and ideology. They strictly followed the guidelines and principles mentioned in the 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhana', a book published by the Sanatan Sanstha," the probe findings said.
Police say that the men who carried out the murder were selected on the basis of their violent backgrounds. They allegedly trained over a period of several months in both the states, and later conspired to kill Dr Kalburgi after he made certain statements they deemed offensive during a discussion on a state bill against superstition.
According to a press note issued by the Special Investigation Team, two of the accused -- Ganesh Miskin and Parveen Chatur -- were trained to shoot with countrymade guns by one Amul Kale at a rubber plantation in Dakshin Kannada's Pilathabettu village in August 2015. "On August 30, 2015, Amol Kale, Ganesh Miskin and Parveen Chatur met at 7:00 am near Indira Gandhi Glasshouse, Hubballi. Amol Kale handed over a bag containing a 7.65 mm calibre country-made pistol to Ganesh Miskin," it read.
According to the press note, Praveen Chatur and Ganesh Miskin reached Dr Kalburgi's house on a stolen Bajaj Discover motorcycle around 8:30 am. "Ganesh Miskin went to the house and shot Dr Kalburgi twice in his head, killing him. He and Praveen Chatur then fled from the scene," it read.
The six have been charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Indian Arms Act.