24-year-old killed allegedly over inter-faith relationship

The decapitated body of a 24-year-old man was found on the railway tracks near Khanapur in Belagavi district, leading to suspicion that he was killed by members of a right-wing organisation over his inter-faith relationship.

Villagers have identified the victim as Arbaz Aftab Mulla of Khanapur, who commuted to Belagavi on work. Police sources said the body was found on September 28 by local farmers.

The victim’s mother, Nazeema Mohammad Gouse Sheikh, a government Urdu school teacher, has filed a complaint with the Khanapur police. She has named the girl with whom her son is said to have had a relationship. She alleged that three persons killed her son as they did not like him having a relationship with a woman of another faith. They had threatened him not to continue the relationship, she said in the complaint.

She held the girl’s father, whose name she did not know, another person called “Maharaj” and his follower Birje as responsible for the alleged killing. The police suspect that the second accused person is Khanapur-based social activist associated with ‘Sri Ram Sena Hindustan’. Pramod Mutalik, Sri Rama Sena founder, denied the involvement of his organisation and said some of his former followers had left to start another organisation called Sri Ram Sena Hindustan.

Mother’s complaint

“Once I learnt about the relationship, I shifted to Azam Nagar in Belagavi with my son. Maharaj asked me to tell my son to stop seeing the girl. He and his followers gave a life threat to my son. He and his followers held a meeting with my son and asked him to step away,” the mother of the victim said in her complaint. She told journalists, “I knew that my son was in love with a neighbour’s daughter. I spoke to her mother to caution them. But the children were adamant. That was a few days ago. But I did not know it would come this.”

After initial probe by the Railway police, the case was transferred to the district police. “We are looking into all angles of the offence and a team has been formed to trace and apprehend the culprits,” Lakshman Nimbaragi, Superintendent of Police, said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 12:03:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/24-year-old-killed-allegedly-over-inter-faith-relationship/article36800225.ece

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