Dharwad: The CID has begun investigation into the murder of noted Kannada scholar and researcher MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead by unknown men at his residence here on August 30.
CID is also probing whether there was a "larger conspiracy" to eliminate rationalist and progressive thinkers.
"We are no more in possession of the case. It has been handed over to the CID yesterday. CID has begun investigation," Hubbali-Dharwad Police Commissioner Pandurang Rane told PTI here.
The Karnataka government had decided to hand over the case to CBI, but CID will investigate into the incident till it is taken over by the central agency.
Rane said Superintendent of Police D C Rajappa, who is leading a CID team, visited Kalburgi's house and interacted with his family members to get preliminary leads to crack the case.
When contacted, Rajappa declined to throw much light on the investigation saying, "I am busy with investigation."
Rane said Maharashtra police had visited Dharwad on August 31 to exchange data and sketches of suspected murderers of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar and veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare at Kolhapur in Maharashtra.
Police sources said that Karnataka police also visited Maharashtra to collect vital clues, if any.
Both Maharashtra police and Karnataka CID team are trying to see if there is any link between Kalburgi's murder and the killings of Dabholkar and Pansare, Rane said.
"Karnataka CID team and Maharashtra police are probing whether the killings of Kalburgi, Dabholkar and Pansare are part of a larger conspiracy to eliminate rationalist and progressive thinkers," Rane said.