Dr MM Kalburgi, who was shot to death at this home, had criticised idol worship and Brahminical traditions
Renowned Kannada writer, litterateur, research scholar and academician Dr MM Kalburgi was allegedly shot dead by right-wing Hindu activists on Sunday.
Dr Kalburgi was apparently targeted over his alleged remarks on Hindu culture and practices.
He was 78 years old.
Two unidentified youths knocked on the door of the writer’s residence in Dharwad city in northwestern Karnataka at around 8.40am on Sunday, police said.
The youths identified themselves as the writer’s students when Kalburgi’s wife opened the door.
One of them entered the writer’s room and shot at him twice on the forehead, after which Kalburgi collapsed and died within minutes of being rushed to hospital.
Preliminary investigation suggests the role of right-wing Hindu activists who had several run-ins with the writer in the past.
The police refused to give any official statement.
A follower of Basavanna, a 12th century social reformer who objected to rule of the priestly class, Dr Kalburgi had criticised idol worship and Brahminical traditions.
Last year, a few Hindu activists had lodged a police complaint against Dr Kalburgi for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
Dr Kalburgi had criticised idol worship in a speech, and miscreants subsequently targeted his home by pelting stones. It is alleged that he was threatened several times, but Dr Kalburgi never made it public.
The murder of celebrated writer Dr MM Kalburgi has shocked Karnataka
Dr Kalburgi’s well wishers had arranged police protection for him six months ago.
However, Dr Kalburgi requested the police to withdraw protection 15 days ago.
It is believed that miscreants took advantage of the situation and shot the scholar dead after studying his movements.
The celebrated writer’s murder has shocked the litterateurs of Karnataka, which has produced the highest number of Jnanapith awardees after Hindi.
“We are still gathering clues and are hopeful of nabbing the culprits. We cannot say as of now as to who is responsible for his death,” said Hubballi-Dharwad City Police Commissioner Ravindra Prasad.
No group has claimed responsibility for 5.56 ammo Dr Kalburgi’s death so far.
The police will seek the help of Dr.
Kalburgi’s wife, who is in a state of shock, to come up with sketches of the suspects.
“She is the only one who has seen the killers. One person waited outside their house while the other shot Dr Kalburgi. She did not realise what happened in the morning while the assailants escaped on their motorbike. It is clear that professionals were involved,” the police added.
Dr Kalburgi was a former vice-chancellor of the Hampi Kannada University.
He had authored over 100 Kannada books, novels, and research papers and won multiple Kendra Sahitya Academy and Karnataka Sahitya Academy awards.