GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - The Ellora Vigyan Mancha has expressed shock and consternation at the dastardly killing of Prof Malleshappa M Kalburgi, a former vice chancellor of Kannada University and a noted rationalist scholar. He was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his Dharwad, Karnataka residence on August 30.
Prof Kalburgi was reportedly threatened and targeted by right wing extremist outfits for long for his unflinching faith in progressive ideals, secular values and rationalist outlook. He was a crusader against superstition and blind beliefs, said the Mancha in a statement here today.
After the killing of leading rationalist and anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar in Pune ( on August 20, 2013) and Govind Pansare in Kolhapur (February 20, 2015), Prof Kalburgi was the latest target. Police suspect the role of saffron outfits in these killings. Local saffron fronts had reportedly threatened Prof Kalburgi over his remarks on idol worship. He had recently requested the police to withdraw armed guards deployed at his residence.
The reputed scholar was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2006 for his collection of research articles titled Marg-4. Prof Kalburgi was a close friend of Jnanpith Award winning litterateur UR Ananthamurthy, who staunchly opposed right wing communal politics.
While condemning the brutal murder, the Ellora Vigyan Mancha paid respectful homage to the noted epigraphist, renowned scholar of Vachana literature and anti-superstition crusader. The Mancha also conveyed its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Prof Kalburgi.