Activists Demand Special Investigation Team in Baliga Murder case
Mangaluru: Activists from various organizations held a press meet in connection with the murder of RTI activist Vinayak Baliga at Hotel Woodlands here on March 30.
Addressing the media persons Prof Narendra Nayak said that Vinayak Baliga who was an active RTI activist exposed many scams using the RTI act. Because of Vinayak Baliga many scams by the real estate owners, builders, educational institutions, Heads of religious institutions and Bank lobbies came to the fore. He did not compromise when there was any misappropriation of funds or violations, be it in the temple or educational institutions he was fighting for justice. We feel that his murder was a revenge by people who were against him for filing a case against the misappropriation of funds in Venkataramana Temple.
Prof Nayak further said that Vinayak Baliga’s murder is a warning for those who are fighting for justice and for the RTI activists to shut their mouth.
We condemn the murder of Vinayak Baliga. Three days after the murder of Baliga there was a hearing related to Sharada Vidyalaya and on April 2 there was one more hearing on the temple issue. Baliga had referred the case for the mediation. He had also brought the issue of some builders to the forefront, in regard to the case of Prof Puranik there was a demolition order. The Temple trust was operating according to the 1927 act and he had appealed to the high court to re-audit the accounts by appointing a new auditor, in that case, the old auditor’s job would be at risk and he may get his license suspended. Baliga had also said in the open court that his life was at risk but he would still fight for justice.
Prof Nayak said, “Even though I am born in a GSB family, I never interfered in community matters. But now when an innocent person is murdered and the person who calls himself a leader has gone missing without reason and the police are also hesitant to arrest him. Three weeks ago Baliga had sent a letter to Atul Kudva asking for the names of trustees in Sudha trust. He had also written a letter to the president of the Temple association Ganapathi Pai questioning his eligibility of becoming the president. Our society is not raising their voice against Baliga’s murder. Where is the minority community to raise a question for Baliga’s murder? Where are those who thrash boys and girls in the name of moral policing? We will intensify our fight till Vinayak Baliga’s family gets justice”, he said.
Prof Nayak openly challenged anyone to come forward and give the evidence if Vinayak has blackmailed anyone. The Police commissioner said that there is absolutely no evidence of blackmailing in this case. In his lifetime, he did not take a single rupee from anyone. People know that dead man cannot file a defamation but whoever alleges that Vinayak is a blackmailer, let them come forward and give evidence that he was blackmailing people. Is it a crime to take the information under RTI act? Is it a crime to file a case where there is a misuse of funds? In which community Vinayak Baliga was born and brought up the same community is not raising their voice.
Mother of Vinayak Baliga Jayanti said, “Even though I do not curse anyone, I curse those who have killed my son, they will not prosper because I had only one son and he was our only bread winner. Police are investigating the case and we are waiting for justice. I do not have any source of income, I have lost my only son. Now I have only three daughters and we have to depend on them”.
Ganesh Baliga said there is no auditing for the gold and silver ornaments in the temple and Vinayak Baliga pointed out the irregularities there and had suggested ways to make the management accountable. The present trustees are very good and they have been appointed three years ago. We had filed a case against the previous trustees who have misused the funds. At present the trustees are good but they are trying to hide the faults of the previous trustees.
When asked why to form a special investigation team, Nayak said at present the case is investigated in the officers level, we have trust on our police commissioner. Vinayak Baliga’s parents are anxious and we want them to get justice.
Muneer Katipalla said that police have arrested two contract killers in Vinayak’s murder case but they did not arrest the kingpin in this case. Even in earlier cases, the main culprit has not been arrested. The state government led by Chief minister Siddaramaiah should form a special investigative team and appoint an IPS officer to lead the team. We believe Police commissioner Chandra Sekhar to be honest. This case is very serious and UT Khader also visited Vinayak Baliga’s house to console his parents. If the police will not be given a free hand to investigate the case there will be danger to other RTI activists who work for the betterment of the society,
Muneer also said that Vinayak died for the society and he was the only breadwinner for his family, the government should compensate Vinayak Baliga’s family.
Vinayak’s father Ramachandra Baliga, BIL Nithyananda Pai, sister Anuradha Baliga, M Devadas, Vasudev Uchil, Nitin Kuttar, Santosh Bajal, S P Anand and Dayanad Shetty were also present.