"Bajrang Dal activist Bhuvith Shetty sent out a tweet soon after Kalburgi's murder threatening that writer K S Bhagwan was the 'next' target," Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said in a statement.

He alleged that the RSS has always indulged in violent measures to eliminate those who have opposed their views. Noting that the facts emerging out of police investigation into the murder point towards a 'larger conspiracy aimed at eliminating rationalists' he said, going by reports, there is a 'striking similarity' in the murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi.

"All of them were active rationalists, they wrote and spoke openly against irrational superstition and tried to promote scientific temper, spirit of inquiry and reform," he added. "Though these are officially the national ethos of modern India and enshrined as Fundamental Duties of citizens in Indian Constitution, they were brutally murdered for practicing and promoting them," Surjewala cited.

Besides, he insisted that the wave of intolerance against rationalist positions is not limited to violent groups of any single region.

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