Karnataka High Court on Wednesday treated press reports about the brutal hacking to death of an RTI activist in Bangalore as a suo motu PIL and ordered issue of notice to the city and State police.

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen appointed senior counsel Hazmath Pasha as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.

Lingaraju (40), an RTI activist and a whistle-blower, was hacked to death at Vittal Nagar in Chamarajpet by three unidentified persons in front of his house last night.

The activist was rushed to a private hospital where doctors declared him dead.

A former employee of Canara Bank, he had launched a Kannada tabloid “Maha Prachanda” but closed it some years ago to become a full-time RTI activist. He also dabbled in real estate and was associated with the Congress Party.

Recently, Mr. Lingaraju had filed a private complaint in the Lokayukta Court against his political rival Govindraju, husband of Azadnagar corporator Gowramma. He had also lodged a complaint with the Upalokayukta against the couple.

On November 9, Lokayukta police had raided Gowramma and Govindraju’s residence and recovered documents relating to property besides assets worth over Rs 16 crore.

Mr. Lingaraju is also reported to have provided crucial documents, during preliminary investigation of the cases involving Gowramma and Govindraju, which subsequently led to the raids, police said.

According to Mr. Lingaraju’s wife, Gowramma had recently approached her through some people to get the complaint withdrawn.

The family has now filed a complaint, alleging that Gowramma and her associates were behind Mr. Lingaraju’s murder, police said.

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