Belur, Jan 25, 2020: An unsigned threat letter with a hit list of 15 famous personalities has caused concern in Karnataka. The letter names former CM HD Kumaraswamy, actors Prakash Raj and Chetan, Lingayat seer Nijagunananda Swami, and several others.
On Friday, Nijagunananda Swami, the seer of the Nidumamidi Mutt, who supported the cause for a separate Lingayat religion, received a death threat via post. The threat letter included 15 other names. The list names former Bajarang Dal leader Mahendra Kumar; Nijagunanada Asuri Swami; Nidumamidi Mutt’s Channamalla Swami; actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj; Sandalwood actor and activist Chetan; Gnanaprakash Swami; BT Lalita Nayak, who is a former MLA, MLC and winner of Sahitya Akademi Award; rationalists Mahesh Chandra Guru and KS Bhagwan; Dinesh Amin Mattu, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s advisor; writer Chandrashekar Patil; gangster-turned-writer Agni Sridhar; CPI leader Brinda Karat; and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
The letter proclaimed that Nijagunananda Swami would be killed on January 29. “Nijagunananda Swami, you have betrayed your own religion. Be prepared for your final journey on January 29, 2020. Following you, the people listed below will also have to make their final journey. You must prepare them for that,” the letter states.
On Saturday, actor Chetan met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and submitted copies of the threat letter. “I spoke with the CM and Home Minister, they have assured me that they will take care of the matter,” Chetan said.
Belagavi Rural SP Laxman Nimbargi told TNM that the letter was posted from Davangere and reached the ashram in Belur at around 12.30 pm on Friday. The seer then approached the Belagavi SP and informed him of the threat.
“He told us that two months ago, he had received a phone call stating that he would be killed if he did not stop speaking the way he does,” SP Laxman said. The seer is currently residing at his ashram in Kalaburgi district’s Jevargi. The Belagavi police have informed their Kalaburgi counterparts to provide protection to the seer.
However, police say that none of the persons mentioned in the letter have come forward to file a police complaint. “The swamiji or his followers can give us a formal complaint and we will register an FIR,” SP Laxman added.
Previously, two hit lists were found in a diary seized from Amol Kale, one of the main accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder. One list had eight names and while late theatre legend Girish Karnad featured on top, Gauri Lankesh was second on the list. The other list with 26 names had academic KS Bhagwan, writers Yogesh Master, Chandrashekhar Patil and Banajagere Jayaprakash and Nidumamidi Swami, on it.