- Dr MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were killed almost in a similar manner
- Both were the voices of set principles earning the ire of radicals
- Even after two years, the CID has not yet arrested anyone in Dr Kalburgi's murder
- Now, government has handed over Gauri's case to SIT, despite Gauri's family members' appeal for CBI probe
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was quick to term journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder as an "organised crime," while briefing the media about the formation of the special investigation team to probe the scribe's murder.
But, the chief minister refused to admit that it was the failure of intelligence and law and order. Had the police not dragged the murder of rationalist Dr MM Kalburgi - for two years and brought his culprits to book- Gauri Lankesh would have been alive, perhaps.
Dr MM Kalburgi was shot dead in a similar manner how Gauri Lankesh murdered. Bike-borne assailants too gunned down Dr Kalburgi at his residence in Dharwad in 2015.
Kalburgi's articles on Basavanna and his alleged relationships had made him the target of radicals in the community. It may be recalled here 'Marga One' published in 1989 which was a compilation of his articles on Kannada folklore, religion and culture. His exploration of relationships and Lingayat saint did not go well with the radicals who constantly targeted him. Kalburgi was the former vice-chancellor of Hampi University, and he has over 400 articles and 100 books to his credit.
It has been two years since the CID is investigating the murder of Dr Kalburgi but with no arrest. On the second death anniversary on Dr Kalburgi last week, the chief minister told the investigating officials to expedite the process and bring the culprits to book, at the earliest.
But just a week after the second death anniversary of Kalburgi comes the shocking murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. There have been similarities between Gauri Lankesh and Kalburgi's deaths - both were vocal in their views that had angered the radicals, shot at the residence by the bike-borne assailants and both never took their threats, serious.
Despite it was largely suspected that Kalburgi had become the victim of radicals the investigating officials failed to crack the case. There had been huge outcry following the murder of Dr Kalburgi in which even Gauri Lankesh had participated. Gauri Lankesh along with other writers and thinkers had strongly condemned Dr Kalburgi's murder and had dared that their voice can't be silenced. But unfortunately, Gauri too met the similar fate.
The delay on the part of investigating agency to crack the case and frequent change in home ministry portfolio may have emboldened the elements that would have wanted to silence the voices like Gauri Lankesh.
Yet, Siddaramaiah refused to admit. Instead, he offered some solace - the murder of Gauri Lankesh would be probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), exclusively. On the other hand, CID continues to be on Dr Kalburgi's case.
Dr Kalburgi's wife Umadevi who has been waiting for justice for her husband ironically reacted "I'm deeply saddened at Gauri's death. It has been two years since Sir (her husband) was killed. But the government has not been able to solve the case. What more one could expect for Gauri Lankesh?"
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:43 PM IST