New Delhi: The Supreme Court ordered on Tuesday to transfer the investigation of MM Kalburgi murder to the same Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the death of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. The Karnataka CID earlier investigated the MM Kalburgi death.

As per reports, the Supreme Court seemed to notice many similarities in Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh murders. The court also said that the Karnataka high court will monitor the twin investigation from now.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and  Rohinton F Nariman directed the Dharwad bench of the Karnataka high court to monitor the SIT investigation.

Earlier, the Kalburgi case was monitored by the Bombay high court, which is presently monitoring the murders of activists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. The argument raised before the Supreme Court was that all four cases were inter-linked. Justice Nariman suggested, if four cases are linked to each other, then they should have the same SIT and one high court to monitor them.

At the same time, Karnataka’s Additional Advocate General Devadutt Kamat objected, submitting that there was an SIT already probing the Lankesh case.

Kamat also argued that the Lankesh case is already linked to Kalburgi probe. So there is no point giving the Kalburgi case now to the Maharashtra SIT,  to which the Bench agreed. And the court ordered to transfer the investigation of Kalburgi murder to the same SIT probing the death of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

The court took the new decision while hearing a petition filed by Umadevi Kalburgi, wife of Kalburgi, for a comprehensive, fair and co-ordinated probe into the brutal deaths of Kalburgi, Lankesh, Dabholkar and Pansare.

Right from the beginning, the Karnataka government has always said that the investigation of both Kalburgi and Lankesh murders should remain in the state itself. 

Kalburgi, the former Vice-Chancellor of Hampi University, was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi award in 2006, and was killed in Karnataka’s Dharwad in 2015. Umadevi believes the same shooters are behind the murders of Pansare on February 16, 2015, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra and Narendra Dabholkar on August 20, 2013, in Pune.

Lankesh was shot dead in broad daylight in front of her Bengaluru residence on September 5, 2017.