Dharwad: A fortnight after the murder of Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi, the Karnataka police say they have ruled out property dispute as a motive.
"We have eliminated property dispute as an angle," Kishore Chandra, the head of the Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department (CID), told NDTV.
77-year-old Professor Kalburgi, a well-known rationalist, was shot dead on August 20 at his home in Dharwad by gunmen who escaped on a bike.
Those close to him and acquainted with his work believe he was killed because of his provocative writings. Professor Kalburgi had received many threats from right wing groups, his family and friends allege.
The police, however, had pushed a parallel narrative of a family dispute over property as a possible motive. "There are several aspects we are probing; property is one of them. We have to verify that too," PH Rane, the Dharwad-Hubli police commissioner, had said a day before the CID took over the probe.
But as NDTV had reported, a cursory examination of Professor Kalburgi's property ownership suggested no real dispute.
Mr Chandra, who is leading the investigation, told NDTV: "We have explored the property dispute, and found no proof of it."
Last week, a local daily, Kannada Prabha, reported that the CID had interrogated an associate of a religious leader who had threatened the scholar last year.
The CID says they are exploring all other leads in the murder. "We are hopeful of a detection soon (sic)," said Mr Chandra.