BENGALURU — After the Supreme Court’s recent suggestion that a single agency, CBI, should probe all four murders — of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh — instead of four different agencies, the families of Gauri Lankesh and Govind Pansare, activists killed allegedly by right wing groups, are set to oppose any move to hand over probe to the CBI, according to reports.
The Supreme Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation whether there was any link between the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.
CBI, which is at present investigating Dabholkar murder, has been asked to reply to this query by the first week of January. If any such common thread is found, the Court may hand over the investigation of all these cases to the central agency, reports livelaw.in.
Kavita Lankesh, sister of slain journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh said that she would implead before the Supreme Court during the next hearing, opposing any move to transfer the case to CBI, reports The Hindu.
“It is the SIT, Karnataka, which has unravelled the conspiracy behind all the four murders. We want the SIT to continue with the probe and not the CBI,” she said.
Megha Pansare, daughter-in-law of slain communist leader Govind Pansare, whose murder is presently being probed by the SIT, Maharashtra, said the family was happy with the progress in the probe and was opposed to it being handed over to the CBI, accoding to the report.
“We are consulting our advocate on the next course of action. But we will oppose any such move,” she said.
Why CBI probe
The Karnataka SIT’s probe into the murder of Gauri Lankesh unravelled the larger conspiracy and the criminal syndicate behind all the four murders, leading to a slew of arrests in connection with the previous three murders as well. It is now alleged that a single criminal syndicate, influenced by the teachings of Sanatan Sanstha, carried out all the four murders, prompting the apex court to suggest a common probe.
Moreover, the CBI’s probe into the murder of Narendra Dabholkar, the only case of the four the agency is handling, has come under criticism, for several flip-flops it has made in the case.
The Bombay High Court Bench that is monitoring the probe into the murders of Dabholkar and Govind Pansare has also criticised the CBI several times.
“We are also concerned about political interference, given how Malegaon bomb blast and Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter cases have ended up. Given the recent CBI fiasco, the agency does not instil confidence,” said a family member of one of the victims, who did not wish to be named.
Meanwhile, Kalburgi’s son Sreevijaya said his family did not have a stand on the investigative agency.
“It has been over three years since my father was brutally killed and the probe has been very slow. Our only demand is justice. We have approached the Supreme Court as a last resort, but have not sought a CBI probe. But if the Supreme Court and the State government in their wisdom hand over the probe to the CBI, we will stand by them,” he said.
(With inputs from The Hindu)