Baliga murder case: Now questions arise on credibility of investigation
It’s strange in a criminal investigation, police issuing flexible notice for inquiry and produce evidence allowing suspect to send people on his/her behalf. For high and mighty this is no unusual as same was executed in Vinayak Baliga slay case.
ACP Uday Nayak, who took charge in central sub-division after ACP Tilak Chandra was transferred to traffic sub-division, issued an alleged flexible notice a month back to the head of Kashi Mutt, seer Samyamindra Thirtha seeking a letters that were posted to him by RTI activist Baliga. Police in fact retrieved two letters but failed to possess the last letter.
According to sources, Baliga had shot a letter on March 15th, expressing angst over financial mismanagement in popular Venkataramana Temple situated in Mangaluru. The letter may contain scathing observations, says Narendra Nayak, who is mobilising voice to fight for justice for Baliga.
With prime accused Naresh Shenoy out on conditional bail, hope for justice is only vanishing. Narendra Nayak in a conversation with Samachara alleged that Uday Nayak is not conducting fare investigation. Nayak has failed to retrieve this letter that acts as incriminating evidence in this ghastly murder.
An advocate demanding secrecy of identity said “I spoke to investigation officer Uday Nayak in regard to issuance of notice. I questioned him on why Uday did not press for personal appearance. To this, Uday ducked my question and showed least interest in entering into an argument.” This speaks in volume the way in which the investigation is carried out, advocate expressed displeasure.
Ravindranath Kamath, counsel for grieving family of Vinayak Baliga said according to his knowledge, Baliga in 15th letter asked Samyamindra harsh questions. Kamath suspected that letter may contain questions on why money that was given to temple as donation by the devotees during the car festival of the shrine was handed over to Kashi Mutt than using it to developmental activities of the temple.
Kamath further said Baliga suspected that money collected during the car festival was not deposited to bank account of Venkataramana Temple but it was put into a gunny bag and whisked away into Naresh Shenoy’s house to count the currency. “Later it was handed over to the Kashi Mutt.” Baliga in the letter might have questioned this dubious course of money transaction between temple and Kashi Mutt, Kamath added.
Kamath explains, under section 91 of criminal code of procedure police or investigation officer has got full powers to summon any person linked to a case. Here this power was not utilised. Samyamindra was not summoned in person by the police and this points finger at investigation.
Uday Nayak, when tapped for explanation he said the notice issued by him was flexible and Samyamindra was given an opportunity to present himself though his men. Nayak contended that this is general practice in any kind of investigation.
For a question on letter, Nayak said “we have retrieved two letters from Samyamindra but not the 15th letter. Two advocates and one Charted Accountant appeared on behalf of seer claimed Samyamindra has not at all received letter that was sent on March 15th. It has to be noted here that Baliga was murdered on the wee hours of March 21, just after five days.
Nayak said “we have asked from the postal department details of this letter to which we have received nothing.” Unless police here from or get evidence from postal department, probe cannot stress Kashi Mutt to produce the letter.
On the other hand, sources tell that Samyamindra has attended foundation stone laying ceremony organised by a rich builder and transport operator named Rajesh Shenoy in the last week of April. The location of the stone laying ceremony was just 2 kms away from house of Vinayak Baliga. However, Samyamindra did not bother to take a visit to Baliga’s house and express condolence.