01/09/2015 6:18 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Four Probe Teams Formed To Investigate Murder Of MM Kalburgi

STRDEL via Getty Images
Indian mourners follow the funeral procession for scholar M.M. Kalburgi as he is taken to be buried at Karnataka University in Dharwad on August 31, 2015. Indian scholars on August 31, 2015 condemned the execution-style killing of a leading scholar who had spoken out against idol worship and angered hardline Hindu groups in the run-up to his death. M.M. Kalburgi, an academic and writer from southern Karnataka state, was shot in the forehead after opening the door of his home on August 30 and later died in hospital, police said. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

BENGALURU -- Four teams have been formed by police as part of its probe into the murder of noted Kannada progressive thinker and scholar MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead at his residence at Dharwad in north Karnataka on Sunday.

Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner PH Rane told PTI, "Investigation is going on, we have formed four teams; teams will also be travelling to Maharashtra and other parts of the state as part of their probe."

The 77-year-old vocal and outspoken rationalist fell to the bullets of two unidentified men at the state's cultural capital of Dharwad that sent shock waves across the Kannada literary world and elsewhere in Karnataka.

Asked whether police are looking at any links with the murder of rationalist activists like Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, Rane said, "We are verifying it seriously."

Anti-superstition crusader Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on 20 August, 2013, while Pansare, a prominent anti-toll activist and rationalist, was shot-at in Kolhapur on 16 February this year. He died in Mumbai on 20 February.

The Karnataka government had on Monday decided to refer the Kalburgi murder case to CBI, and had said that CID will be investigating the case in the meanwhile.

After the dastardly murder of Kalburgi, police have provided security to some noted litterateurs, including Jnanpeeth award winner Girish Karnad and SL Byrappa and KS Bhagwan, who have often faced the anger of some groups for their views on different issues.

A local Bajrang Dal activist was arrested yesterday by Bantwal Police in Dakshina Kannada district for allegedly posting remarks on Twitter threatening writer KS Bhagwan for his alleged derogatory remarks on the Bhagavad Gita, but he was out on bail later.

Bajrang Dal co-convener Bhuvith Shetty's tweet targeting Bhagwan for making "fun" of Hinduism had gone viral after it was circulated through Whatsapp. He later deleted the post but screen shots of the tweet had already been circulated.

Bhagwan had drawn the wrath of right-wing activists after he allegedly disparaged the Bhagawad Gita while speaking at a programme in Mysuru in February this year.

Contact HuffPost India