Naveen Amin, president of Udupi taluk unit of Akhil Karnataka Janajagriti Vedike, said that there was a media trial of Dharmadhikari of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala D. Veerendra Heggde and his family members in the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl near Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district last year.

Mr. Amin said that the CID investigation in the case was in its final stages. But systematic efforts were on to tarnish the name of Mr. Heggade and family members. The media was giving misleading information on the case daily.

The Vedike condemned the efforts of some forces, which, it said, were conspiring to defame Mr. Heggade. The well-wishers of Mr. Heggade had held several public meeting in his support in different places. If the misleading propaganda against Mr. Heggade continued, the Vedike would not hesitate to launch a strong agitation, Mr. Amin said.

Demand for CBI probe

In Mangalore, the the Communist Party of India launched a postcard campaign on Saturday to press for a CBI inquiry into the case. Addressing protesters who gathered at the Deputy Commissioner’s office, B. Shekhar, district Joint Secretary of the party said the probe should extend beyond the 2012 case and cover all unnatural deaths, rapes and murders in Belthangady taluk since 1986.

“The CID is a State agency and can be influenced by powerful persons here. Only a CBI probe can bring some justice,” he said. More than 300 post cards were signed, and were mailed to the Chief Minister’s Office, to press the government to take the issue of women’s safety seriously.

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