Professor Narendra Nayak has been fighting to get justice for the murdered RTI activist, Vinayaka Baliga for almost a year now.
Vinayaka Baliga was hacked to death near his house in Kodialbail in the early hours on March 21, 2016 but on Wednesday, March 15, Professor Nayak alleges that he almost escaped a murder attempt on his own life.
Professor Nayak, a rationalist, consumer activist and also a human rights activist in Mangaluru is not new to facing life threats for his activism but he tells India Today that these threats have increased in number ever since he took up the case of the murdered RTI activist.
He decided to do something since he found a lot of vested interests behind the murder. "He was hacked to death in a very gruesome manner. His skull was split and there were 13 stab wounds on his body,' Nayak tells India Today.
The RTI activist Baliga was an electrical contractor by profession and had unearthed controversial information related to electricity theft and unauthorized constructions in Mangaluru city. He had also raised the issue about alleged irregularities in the affairs of the famous Venkataramana temple in Mangaluru.
Professor Nayak, who currently holds the position of the president of the Federation of Indian Rationalists Associations says that the whole issue was sidetracked and a few people were set up as fall guys. 'Once we took up the case, a lot of things came out and that's when the threat to my life increased.'
The Mangaluru police then appointed a gunman for his protection but on Wednesday, instead of waiting for his gunman to arrive, the professor went for a swim at around 6.25 in the morning.
In his complaint he tells the police that two unknown people tried to stop him. When he did not stop, they told him that his car had a puncture. 'Their movement was very suspicious and I did not stop but drove straightway to a petrol bunk and found the tyres in perfect condition,' he says.
He immediately approached the police and filed a complaint alleging that a murder attempt on his life. 'When I enquired with people as to who these people were, they told me that they belonged to a local rowdy Shivaprasad who is involved in the murder of the RTI activist,' he says adding they are now out to finish him off for taking up the case.
The rationalist says that the investigation has now come to a dead stop after one arrest took place and hence they have planned to take out a protest on March 21 along with a public meeting to force the authorities to carry on investigating this case.