News Karnataka
Saturday, January 28 2023

Vignesh’ suicide, may or may not be interlinked with Baliga – we must not speculate

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Mangaluru: RTI activist and BJP booth worker in Mangaluru South constituency, Vinayak Baliga was hacked to death on 21st March 2016. The trial against 7 accused in this case is delayed due to the non-availability of the judge in 6 Addl. District Sessions Court.

Recently, on the 22nd of November 2020. Vignesh Nayak (29) an active social worker?,? is known for his work in Yuva Brigade, Youths of GSB, Hindu Yuva Sene who was also a witness in the Vinayak Baliga’s murder case committed suicide at his residence at VT Road.

According to reports in the media, Prof. Narendra Nayak, activist and president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations has blamed the police for not pursuing the investigation into the fact (according to his statement) that Vignesh’s vehicle was used by the accused. His statement urged that police should investigate Vignesh’s death in the said circumstances.

Following this, a few private broadcasters aired a program that mentioned that Vignesh had an issue with his job at Vivek Traders, the firm owned by Naresh Shenoy, prime accused in Baliga’s murder case. The program mentioned that Vignesh is also an accused in Baliga’s murder case. But the fact is that the charge sheet of the S.C.No. 143/207 clearly mentions Vignesh as a witness, and not an accused. And there were reports mentioning the incident happened on the eve of judgment day, perhaps trail yet to begin. The media contents were short on facts and perhaps tarnished the image of the deceased.

Kiran Rao, a close friend of Vignesh mentioned that the media reports are disturbing Vignesh’s family members. On the other hand, a co-worker of Vignesh at Vivek Traders confirmed that there Vignesh had no differences or issues at work or with his employer. Even on the day prior to his death, a Saturday, he worked normally. His fiancée was the last person to speak with him via cell phone. While the wheels of justice grind slowly in India, putting the respondents, plaintiffs, and witnesses at a tremendous disadvantage, in the end, justice is always served.

In the meanwhile, however, it is best that media stays away from taking sides or painting pictures that do not reflect the truth as is evident on record. It disturbs the families of the victims as also unhealthily attempts to influence the case itself.

While the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to work on its regulatory mechanisms for Electronic and Digital Media, it is important the media itself exercise self-restraint for the benefit of the family of the victim and justice itself in the interim.

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