New Delhi: Giving a new twist to the murders of Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi, communist leader Govind Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, the Karnataka CID thinks that there is sufficient proof to indicate that the rationalists were killed by the same group.
Notably, the three intellectuals were murdered at different times and places.
Pansare, a left-wing politician and author, was shot on February 16, 2015, by assailants in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, whereas Dabholkar, a rationalist and author, was killed on August 20, 2013, in Pune. Kannada writer Kalburgi was shot dead on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad district of Karnataka.
The government had, at the beginning of this month, ruled out the existence of any reports which suggested any link between the murders of the three rationalists.
However, forensic analysis of bullet cartridges found at the scenes of the three incidents suggests the probable involvement of a common set of killers.
Earlier, the three cases were being linked on the basis of the profile of the victims, probable motives, modus operandi and the 7.65-mm countrymade genre of weapons used for the killings. The cartridges provide the first physical evidence linking the murders, says a report published in the The Indian Express.
The 69-year-old Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune by four bullets fired from a 7.65-mm countrymade pistol while 81-year-old Pansare and his wife Uma Pansare were shot at with five bullets from two 7.65 mm countrymade weapons. In both the cases that took place in Maharashtra, two assailants came on a motorcycle in the early hours of the day. Similarly, in the case of Kalburgi, two motorcycle-borne assailants fired two bullets from a 7.65-mm countrymade pistol to the Kannada writer's head in the living room of his Dharwad home in the early hours of August 30.
“The cartridges recovered in the Kalburgi case and the Pansare case are very similar according to forensic analysis. There is similarity in the three cases through the cartridges apart from the modus operandi but this is not sufficient to identify the perpetrators as yet,’’ the daily quoted a senior Karnataka police officer as saying.
The daily reported that the Karnataka CID is investigating if the four missing members of the right-wing Sanathan Sanstha, who are accused in a 2009 blast case in Margao, Goa, have anything to do with the murders.