Indian rationalist M M Kalburgi shot dead
Renowned Indian scholar and rationalist, M M Kalburgi, has been killed after being shot by unidentified men in the southern state of Karnataka.
According to this report, police said that two men came to Kalburgi’s residence in the town of Dharwad, nearly 400km from Bangalore, and shot him after he opened the door yesterday morning.
Kalburgi, a recipient of several literary awards, including the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award, was rushed to the district hospital by his family members but died on the way.
Dharwad City Police Commissioner Ravindra Prasad said that police was considering it as a case of murder and a “special squad” has been formed to work on the case.
He said the police did not suspect any particular group and that the investigation was under way with a “clean mind”.
Kalburgi, who was former vice chancellor of Kannada University in the southern town of Hampi, became mired in a controversy in June, 2014, for his remarks against “idol worship”, which is an important aspect of Hindu belief.
Far-right groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishat and Bajrang Dal had filed cases against him and also demanded his arrest for allegedly offending religious sentiments.
Kalburgi had recently asked the police to withdraw armed guards, who were deployed at his house after he received a number of threats over his remarks.
His murder comes months after a social activist Govind Pansare was killed while on a morning walk in the city of Kolhapur in the western Maharashtra state.
The killing is a reminiscent of the murder of rationalist and author Narendra Dabholkar in the western city of Pune in 2013.