New Leads in Kalburgi Murder Case, Thanks to Gauri Lankesh
Gauri Lankesh was at the forefront of the demand for a speedy investigation into the murder of rationalist professor MM Kalburgi, which was swept under the carpet. Years later, Lankesh remains instrumental in raking up Kalburgi’s murder case as leads from the probe into her murder has offered new leads into his death probe.
It was the first case in the state where a rationalist was murdered, but the investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) saw many dead ends and eventually led nowhere.
But in recent developments, a week before professor Kalburgi’s death anniversary, the investigation into his murder has been revived, thanks to a crucial piece of information from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh.
The Common Thread in Two Murders
Ganesh Miskin, 28, and Amit Ramachandra Baddi, 27, were arrested from Hubli district in North Karnataka by a team of the SIT, on 22 July. Hubli is a twin city to Dharwad, where Kalburgi was murdered.
According to the SIT, the two men were present at the crime scene on 5 September, on the night of Lankesh’s murder. Miskin took the assassin, Parashuram Waghmore, to Lankesh’s house on a motorcycle. He was also present at the scene, when she was shot dead.
They handed over the weapon to Baddi and changed into different clothes, provided by Baddi. Later, they went their separate ways.
After their arrest on 22 July, they were taken into police custody and during their interrogation, the men claimed they conducted the recce for Kalburgi’s murder in 2015.
CID to Take Custody of the Two Men
A senior CID officer, on Wednesday, said the CID has found merit in the leads provided by the SIT and they will be applying for the custody of the two men and others, soon. He said that the teams of the CID working on the Kalburgi case will be “reactivated” and “additional man power” will also be provided to the teams.
The CID has already questioned Miskin and Baddi in Parappanaa Agrahara jail, where they are currently lodged. The men, however, didn’t cooperate with the CID sleuths.
We will be taking the men into police custody to question them further. The paperwork for the same are being processed. At the same time, we are not depending merely on SIT’s leads. We will conduct an investigation and collect evidence against these men for their involvement in professor Kalburgi’s murderA senior CID officer.
The officer didn’t delve into the details of the investigation. However, he said that evidence collected by the SIT, such as the call records and mobile tower data, will be compared with the evidence collected by the CID team two years ago, as the first step in the investigation.
Lack of Trust in Each Other?
While the two teams are cooperating in the investigation – according to sources – the CID hesitated to act on the evidence first shared by the SIT.
According to sources in the CID, they wanted to collect enough evidence on their own before officially indicting the two men in the Kalburgi case. This is one of the reasons why more than a week after the SIT passed on the information on Kalburgi case, the CID is yet to take custody of the men.
However, the arrests and seizure by Maharashtra police has given the CID confidence. But the delay in taking custody of the two men implies, the CID will have to wait longer for their custody.
But as of now, the investigation by SIT has not led to any crackdown on a terror module in Maharashtra, but has rekindled hope in MM Kalburgi’s murder case.