02/04/2016 5:28 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Key Suspect In Mangalore RTI Activist's Murder Is A NaMo Brigade Founder: Report

FILE - In this March 3, 2014 file photo, blood and shattered glass cover the pavement after gunmen opened fire on the driver of a passenger bus, Roger Enrique Hernandez Gutierrez, and his assistant, killing them both in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Taxi and passenger bus drivers are targets of gangs seeking extortion money in this country with one of the highest murder rates in the world. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

The murder case of Right to Information (RTI) activist Vinayak Baliga in Mangalore has taken a new turn with the police launching a search for Naresh Shenoy, a key suspect who is one of the founders of an organisation which allegedly had close association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

According to The Indian Express, Shenoy has worked with RSS leader Sullibele Chakravarthy, the mentor of the Yuva Brigade that Shenoy created in place of the NaMo Brigade after the general elections in May 2014.

51-year-old Baliga was an electrical contractor who had successfully sought out more than 90 RTIs, helping the government in tracing electricity theft in the Mangalore. On 21 March, he was attacked with sharp weapons by two men on a motorcycle when he was out on his routine morning walk. According to PTI, more than 17 stab injuries were found on his body.

A CCTV camera in a nearby office did capture the image of two men entering the lane on a two-wheeler, but the visuals were not clear, the police said.

The police raided Yuva Brigade leader Shenoy's house on 31 March but he wasn't there. Thereafter, the police declared him absconding, said Daijiworld. Reportedly, he has been missing since the day of Baliga's murder.

Reportedly, the police are unable to find the motive behind the murder of Baliga, who was also a BJP worker.

However, according to IE, his brutal end may have got something to do with the local Venkataramana Temple. Baliga had reportedly discovered misappropriation of temple funds to the tune of Rs nine crore and had filed a case against the temple authorities.

“After he found discrepancies in the accounts through various routes, including RTI and his own investigations, he approached the temple trustees and asked them for a clarification, but they refused. He then approached the court,” Ganesh Baliga, 41, a businessman who was a co-petitioner with the victim in the case said.

“The documents he obtained clearly showed that at least ₹8-9 crore of temple funds received from donors could not be accounted for,” Ganesh said.

Now, the federation of Indian Rationalist Associations has decided to take up the fight against Baliga's murder, fearing that the case may go "the Kalburgi way", reported Bangalore Mirror.

MM Kalburgi, a 77-year-old vocal and outspoken rationalist fell to the bullets of two unidentified men in Dharwad in August 2015 that sent shock waves across the country.

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