Karnataka scholar MM Kalburgi, threatened over his writings, shot dead on his doorstep


Dharwad, Aug 31 ( Agencies): Noted scholar MM Kalburgi, known for his rationalist views, was shot dead at the doorstep of his home in Karnataka's Dharwad city on Sunday morning.

Dr Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University, answered the doorbell at around 8.40 am and had just opened the door when he was shot in the forehead and chest. The attackers had come on a bike, said Dharwad police chief Ravindra Prasad.

A six-member Special Investigation Team of the police will investigate the murder, which has sent shockwaves through the state.

Neighbours say the 77-year-old scholar had received many threats to his life, but he had never taken them seriously. He had allegedly been threatened by Hindu rightwing groups who opposed his writings and speeches and called them "anti-Hindu."

Dr Kalburgi was a Sahitya Academy award winning writer, academician and researcher who had landed in controversy on several occasions for his remarks on religious and social issues. There were several protests outside the professor's house.
In the last couple of years, there have been at least three such attacks.

In August 2013, anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune while he was out for a morning walk.

In February this year, social activist and veteran CPI leader Govind Pansare -- who was holding agitations against toll tax among other issues -- was shot dead in similar circumstances in Kolhapur.

None of the cases has been solved.

"This is a very unfortunate incident. We hope this doesn't develop into a part of Kannada culture. Everyone has the right to express his opinion... If this grows in Karnataka, we are in trouble," said actor and director Girish Karnad.

 

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