Mangaluru May 13, 2016: The ongoing controversy generated by murder of RTI activist Vinayak Baliga got a new twist with the Baliga family expressing outrage against the alleged insult meted to them during a recent community meet hosted under the auspices of GSB Rakshana Vedike at Venkatramana Temple, Konchady.
Disclosing this at a press conference held at the Baliga’s residence behind Sterling Chambers on Kala Kunj Road in the city, Vinayak Baliga’s sister Shwetha Pai said she and another sister had attended the closed meeting held at the temple premises on May 9th. On this occasion, some persons belonging to GSB Rakshana Vedike accused them of joining up with ‘evil forces’ in hatching ‘conspiracy’ against Kashi Math. They further warned them not to involve henceforth.
Baliga’s another sister Usha Baliga said that many eminent persons were seated on the dais during the meeting. Though the meeting began with a few words to condole the murder of their brother, she said it was only a token gesture. “It is strange that none of the organizers had felt enough grief to visit us so far. It is only when a controversy has been generated that they called this meeting,” she said.
Breaking into tears half way through, Shwetha Pai added: “Our brother was a loyal GSB community member and strived for the sake of reforming GSB society. It is 45 days since the murder, yet none of these people who are now professing to protect GSB community have made any gesture to express their stand on the issue. We have never given any statement against temple or swamiji or any math. So how can anyone accuse us of conspiracy against them?”
Rationalist leader Professor Narendra Nayak, who had arranged the press meet, questioned the authority of GSB Rakshana Vedike to represent GSB community. “This outfit is made of a few trustees of temples and office bearers of Bhajana Mandalis. How can they claim to represent the entire community?” he asked.
Going ballistic on issue, he struck a sarcastic note by observing, “When an activist belonging to their own community was murdered, these people chose to be silent. Yet, when media apparently misreported about the detention of a man working for a swami, the very same people hastily formed this banner and ran to the police commissioner with a memorandum. So rather than calling themselves ‘GSB Rakshana Vedike’ the newly formed outfit needs to be called as ‘Aparadhigala Rakshana Vedike’ (Forum for Protection of Criminals).”
Professor Narendra Nayak also demanded that those who accused Baliga family of partnering with evil forces and indulging in conspiracy should specify who these evil forces are. “At no point Baliga’s family members have said anything about temple or swami, yet they accuse them in this manner. This clearly shows their support for the accused,” he said.
“Vinayak Baliga belonged to GSB community and was a devotee of Lord Venkataramana but none of the GSB organizations, Hitarakshana Vedikes, Bhajana Mandalis or any GSB Community leaders came to the help of the Baliga’s family,” said Narendra Nayak.
Dalit Sangarsha Samithi Member Devdas said that the recent controversy is an attempt of vested parties to mislead the people and divert attention from the investigation.
Another Dalit leader Raghu Yekkar said: “We have no intension to hurt the community or the temple administration. Our struggle is only for seeking justice for Baliga and his family.”