Karnataka: Lawyer-Activist Ajit Nayak Brutally Murdered, No Arrests Made Yet
The Logical Indian Crew Karnataka
July 31st, 2018 / 6:52 PM
Image Credits: Scroll.in
Lawyer and activist Ajit Nayak was hacked to death with a sword on July 27, in Uttar Karnataka town of Dandeli. The incident occurred when Nayak was returning home from work at around 9:30 pm and he was attacked by unknown men on J.N Road, reported The Hindu. He suffered severe injuries on the left side of his head and ear and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared ‘brought-dead’.
The News Minute stated that a case was registered in the Dandeli Town Police station and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Uttara Kannada, Mohan Prasad, Inspector Aneesh Mujawar and Sub-Inspector Ullas Parmar were put in charge of the investigation.
Ullas Parmar further talked to The News Minute where he said, “No arrests have been made. All angles are being probed. We have gathered CCTV footage from his office, but that has not helped us identify the attackers.”
The Hindu also interviewed Additional Superintendent of Police, Uttara Kannada K.G Devaraju who said, “We are on track. We are hopeful of cracking the case in two days.”
Ajit Nayak: A prominent voice of change
Nayak was a lawyer and an environmentalist fighting for causes such as the Kali river rejuvenation and Kali Bachao Andolan, both of which are intended to save the river from industrial pollution. It is worth mentioning that the river faces sand mining and industrial waste dumping and damming.
The 57- year old was also the President of the Dandeli Taluk Horata Samiti had previously served as the President of the Dandeli Block Congress Committee.
The Quint further reported that he was also a leading voice in Real Estate Regulatory Reforms and was also an anti-corruption activist. Police also believe that his activism could be one of the reasons behind his murder.
Soon after his demise on Friday, many people reached the hospital to pay their tributes and protest against the killing. Candlelight marches took place at various places, to show solidarity against the crime.
Moreover, on Saturday, members of bar associations from Sirsi, Karwa and Shivamogga boycotted court proceedings. The town was shut on Saturday.
One of the activists based out of Chennai, Nityanand Jayaraman, said, “Intolerance and violence on all counts have drastically increased in India. Ajit Nayak’s murder comes barely two months after the ghastly killing of 14 people by police firing in Thoothukudi. Ordinary people who raise their voices to protect the environment are being silenced by killers in uniform and without.”
The voices of dissent
The Wire earlier this year reported on how the number of RTI activists killed had increased in the last few years. It noted that 67 RTI activists had been killed since the act saw the light in 2005. The figures were quoted from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, which keeps track on the attacks on RTI activists.
Furthermore, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in report informed that between 2012-2016, 18 journalists had been killed in India. The point to be worried about here is that since 2016, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 12 have died, and this is excluding the rational thinkers, cartoonists etc.
The situation is dire, as a new ‘normal’ is being set in the country today. The cost of living is slowly getting cheaper by the day. However, hope remains, as someone rightly put, ‘You can kill a man, but not the Idea’.
Written by : Anirudh Ganeshan
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi