Mangaluru, Nov 30, 2016: When the accused no 1 in the Vinayak Baliga murder case was arrested in June, 2016 we were promised that many more were on the way. It was also in the notes submitted before the courts that the main reason behind the murder was the anger elicited by his questioning of the accounts of the Venkatarmana temple and the affairs of the Kashi math.
He had in particular questioned the legitimacy of the present occupant Samyamindra Teertha in a speech made before the supporters of Raghavendra Teertha in the first week of March. However, he was murdered on the 21st of the same month. He is also supposed to have sent a very strong letter to the head of the math at his Delhi address for which postal records do exist. A notice to the present head has not resulted in the production of the letter which is an important piece of evidence in the murder case.
In lieu he has sent two lawyers and a chartered accountant supposed to be close to a minister in Udupi to give a statement to the investigating officer on his behalf . One wonders as to whether it is an income tax notice or such that a representative can go and answer on behalf of a person summoned to produce evidence or are some above the law of land?
If the letter is unavailable or destroyed it speaks badly of an institution which is supposed to maintain meticulous records. In fact the followers of the same are claiming that they have been empowered by the High court of Kerala to search for the missing Raghavendra Teertha and have been flaunting that recently though the order is supposed to have been made in 2015, a year back. If they can search for him all over the country why can’t they search for a missing/hidden letter in their own math is the question which those who want justice for Baliga are asking.
If the intention was to stall the investigations into the accounts of the Venkatramana temple, we have to admit that they have certainly succeeded in that! The chartered accountant who had agreed for a re-audit of the accounts for a fee has now refused to take up the task citing safety concerns for his staff and hence the said issue is now hanging in limbo. As for the scheme proposed by Baliga to make the trustees of the temple more accountable to the society, that too is facing uncertainties as the appellant is no more.
While the accused no 1 has managed to obtain bail from the Karnataka High court which has been now questioned by the father of the murdered Vinayak Baliga. With the main accuse out on bail, the family is feeling threatened and so are the witnesses. Also are those who have supported them in their quest for justice. While it is questionable as to how bail was granted to the main accused in a cold blooded murder case of an activist, many questions remain to be answered which shall certainly come before the supreme court.
In the mean while it is a matter of shame that the political parties are all behind the accused in a bid to save him. It has been learnt from reliable sources that one of the ministers has been approached to exert influence on the police to file a charge sheet at the earliest exonerating the other accused. Baliga murder has been a well plotted conspiracy with a dry run, setting up of people to take the rap and also a well planned conspiracy to help the accused no 1 to be on the run from the police for nearly three months. Those who have aided him have not yet been arrested or even summoned. It is not possible for a person to be on the run hiding from the police for three months without accomplices! It is strange as to why they have not been charged as yet!
The commissioner of Mangalore Police had said in an open press conference that there are more people to be apprehended for this murder. Who are they and when is it going to happen? These are the questions that everyone seeking justice for Baliga has been asking. The helpless family are in silent tears of agony and rage while those responsible for the crime are being feted as heroes in a society whose lopsided values ignore the poor and down trodden and their conscience seems to be dead! Or is it a fear of the high and mighty that makes them silent? Is it the silence of the lambs?
Prof. Narendra Nayak