BENGALURU:The probe into the murder of scholar M M Kalburgi appears to have hit a dead end. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which had earlier strongly suspected the involvement of Sameer Gaikwad, a right-wing activist currently in the custody of Maharashtra police, has “temporarily” ruled out his involvement in the case.
The agency, which interrogated him, has decided against seeking his custody. Gaikwad is a suspect in the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare. Sources said the CID’s decision comes after it failed to get any evidence against the accused on his role in the Kalburgi murder.
This prompted the investigation agency not to file a petition seeking his custody.
However, Kalburgi’s relatives are still hopeful that those behind the murder are nabbed soon and brought to book.
Kalburgi was shot dead outside his house in Dharwad on August 20 at point-blank range by two unidentified persons. The murder had evoked strong reactions from the literary community, with several writers returning their awards to protest the slow probe in the case. While writer Chandrashekar Patil returned the Pampa Award on September 6, several others followed suit.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had made an assurance that he would personally monitor the case, had also announced a reward of `5 lakh to anyone with information about the killers.
Hopes of nabbing the accused brightened after Maharashtra police arrested Sanatan Sanstha activist Gaikwad. Soon after his arrest, CID interrogated him in Kolhapur in Maharashtra.
The CID had also suspected that one Rudragowda Patil was the main culprit in the case. However, almost two months after the murder of the writer, the agency is yet to make any arrests in connection with the murder.
When contacted, H C Kishore Chandra, Director General of Police, CID, said a team of officials were working to nab the culprits. To a question on whether CID had new leads, he said the investigating officer was looking into them.
On Gaikwad, he said the CID was not going to request the court to hand him over to them for the probe. “However, we do not want to completely rule out the possibility of his involvement at this juncture,” he said. “After further investigation into the case, if Gaikwad’s role is confirmed, we will appeal to the court for custody.”
Kalburgi’s son Srivijaya told Express they were hopeful the murderers will be nabbed soon.
“Something wrong has happened. We are still in shock, but are hopeful of receiving justice,” he said. Srivijaya said the family was yet to receive any information regarding the progress of the case. “They say it’s confidential,” he added.