Bengaluru, Dec 6: As the Central Water Commission has agreed to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) on Mekedatu project, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy chaired an important meeting of former chief ministers, irrigation ministers and legal experts at the Vidhana Soudha here on Thursday.

Former chief ministers Siddaramaiah, Jagadish Shettar, leaders H.K Patil, K.S. Eshwarappa, Basavaraj Bommai, Ministers D.K. Shivakumar and R.V. Deshpande and others participated in the meeting. As Tamil Nadu is preparing to file its objection against the Mekedatu project, the meeting discussed in length on taking up the project at the earliest. As the implementation of the project would not have any impact on Tamil Nadu, the state government has decided to convince its neighbouring state.

It will help TN

Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar said that “the objection from Tamil Nadu over the project is not fair as we are going to implement the project on our land. We have planned to utilize the water which flows into the sea and this will help Tamil Nadu”, he said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting, Shivakumar said that Tamil Nadu has been opposing the Mekedatu project for political reasons. The proposed project would not affect Tamil Nadu. Instead, it would help that state. The state government was ready to convince Tamil Nadu. Let the central government invite the chief ministers of both the states and solve the problem, he said.

Tamil Nadu government has convened a special Assembly Session to discuss the Mekedatu project. Karnataka would not use its water for irrigation purpose. Instead, it would just use it for drinking purpose. Tamil Nadu should not move the court in this issue, Shivakumar appealed.

A primary report of the Rs 5,916 crore project was ready. The government has taken one step forward. Total 4,996 hectare land would come under the project area, of which 380 hectare of land belonged to Revenue department and remaining land belonged to the Forest department. Since the Central Water Commission has given its green signal for the project, Karnataka would not backtrack from the project, he clarified.

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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that if there is a "common thread" among the murders of social activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi, then one agency can investigate all the four cases.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Navin Sinha asked the CBI to inform it by January first week as to why it should not investigate all the four cases if there appears a link among all the murders.

The counsel for the Maharashtra government informed the court that the CBI is investigating the murder cases of social activist and professor Narendra Dabholkar after the Bombay High Court transferred the probes to the agency.

The court, after perusing the status report of the Karnataka Police, said there appears to be a link between the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M.M Kalburgi.

It asked the Maharashtra government's counsel about the status of the investigation into the Pansare murder case, to which the counsel said the case was pending before the Kolhapur trial court.

Earlier in the day, the Karnataka Police had informed the apex court that there appears to be a connection between Lankesh and Kalburgi murder cases.

The state police also told the apex court that it will file a chargesheet in the Kalburgi murder case in three months.

Noted scholar Kalburgi was killed at Dharwad in 2015. Pansare was also killed the same year. Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru, whereas rationalist Dabholkar was assassinated on August 20, 2013.

The top court on November 26 had pulled up the Karnataka government for "doing nothing and just fooling around" in the investigation and had indicated that it may transfer the case to the Bombay High Court.

The top court had on January 10 sought the response of probe agencies NIA and CBI and the two state governments on the allegation of Uma Devi that no substantial investigation has been carried out so far in the murder case.

Kalburgi's wife, in her petition, had alleged that there was common link between the murder of her husband and that of activists Narendra Achyut Dabholkar and Govindrao Pansare, who too were assassinated in August 2013 and February 2015 respectively.

The 77-year old Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University and a well-known epigraphist, was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015. Born in 1938, he was a Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer of old Kannada literature.