Minister promises logical end to Gauri, Kalburgi probe

Minister promises logical end to Gauri, Kalburgi probe

M B Patil

Investigation into the killing of scholar M M Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh will be taken to its "logical end," Home Minister M B Patil said Wednesday.

Patil, who reviewed the Home department with senior police officers, told reporters that the government was satisfied with the progress achieved by investigating authorities in the two cases.

"I'm yet to go into details of the Gauri Lankesh case, but I can say that our Special Investigation Team (SIT) has achieved a breakthrough. Even the CBI in some cases hasn’t achieved a breakthrough for over four years. The investigation has now reached the final stage and a charge sheet has been filed as well," Patil said.

Gauri, who was known for her vociferous opposition to religious fundamentalism, was gunned down by bike-borne assailants outside her Rajarajeshwari Nagar home on September 5, 2017. The SIT has, so far, arrested 12 accused in the case.

"In the Kalburgi case, the CID has made good progress. There are a few things that are common in the two cases (Gauri and Kalburgi). We’re satisfied with the CID and SIT in both cases," Patil said, declining to reveal more details. Kalburgi, a noted rationalist, was also shot in his Dharwad home on August 30, 2015.

The Supreme Court, last month, asked the CBI to find out if there is a “common thread” in murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar (August 2013), Communist leader Govind Pansare (February 2015), Kalburgi and Gauri.

Schools for cops?

On implementing the Auradkar committee report on hiking salary for police personnel, Patil said he would soon discuss it with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. The committee in its September 2016 report recommended a 35% salary hike for the police.

“Not just that, there are other aspects of police welfare that need to be taken care of. For instance, we’ve discussed setting up residential schools and public schools for police personnel. We also discussed constables welfare, their salary, medical benefits and so on. Traffic constables, for example, have health-related problems due to their prolonged exposure to vehicular pollution,” he said.

To a question on illegal immigrants, Patil said 113 foreigners would be deported for overstaying.