Six Kannada writers on Saturday returned state literary awards in protest over delay in the inquiry into rationalist M.M. Kalburgi’s killing on August 30, the state literary council said in a statement here.
“The writers have returned the Aralu Sahitya (literary) award given by the state-run BMTC, as they are saddened by long delay in the arrest of the two assailants who are at large and the probe did not make much headway,” Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Pundalik Halambi said in the statement.
The young writers – Veeranna Madiwalar, T. Satish Javare Gowda, Sangamesh Menasinakai, Hanumanth Haligeri, Shridevi V Aloor and Chidanand Sali – were conferred the awards on November 20, 2011 at a function here where Kalaburgi was also honoured with the Nrupatunga Prashasti.
“The authors have returned the awards to put pressure on the state government to hasten the probe and nab the culprits, as it is over a month since the shocking incident took place on a broad daylight,” Halambi said.
The 77-year-old Kalaburgi, a former Hampi University vice-chancellor, was shot dead by two unidentified assailants at his residence in Dharwad in northern Karnataka.
Thought the state government last month announced Rs.5 lakh reward for clues leading to the arrest of the killers, the state CID is yet to make a breakthrough.
Insisting that the Parishat take back the awards, Javare Gowda said they had no option but to do so to force the government speed up the ongoing probe.
“It is a simple gesture to exert pressure on the state government to nab the culprits,” Gowda had said before announcing their decision to return the awards.