Watch | Crimes against women in Karnataka | Causes, politics and fallout

Watch | Women’s murders in Karnataka l Causes, politics & fallout

In the last few weeks, Karnataka has been jolted by ghastly murders, and in all, men took to violence and aggression after their advances were shunned by the victims

Updated - May 22, 2024 06:23 pm IST

Published - May 22, 2024 05:41 pm IST

The murder of 22-year-old Neha Hiremath on April 18 sent shockwaves around Karnataka. Protests raged across the country as Neha, the daughter of a Congress municipal councillor, was stabbed to death by her former classmate Fayaz Khondunaik at her college campus in Hubballi.

Hours earlier, Bengaluru had been rocked by a double murder when 46 year old Suresh, married and with children, stabbed his 25-year-old colleague to death at a park in JP Nagar. Moments later, he was bludgeoned to death by the victim’s mother.

On May 9, 33-year-old Prakash Omkarappa beheaded his 16-year-old fiance in Somwarpet taluk in Kodagu district, after the District Child Protection Unit had intervened in their engagement. 

In the most recent incident, 21 year old Girish Sawant stabbed 20 year old Anjali Ambiger to death at her house in Hubballi on May 15. 

In all these ghastly murders, men took to violence and aggression after their advances were shunned by the victims. Unable to handle rejection, the killings were a way for these men to avenge the “insult” to their egos. 

However, what drew the most outrage from political parties was Neha’s murder, as the State in the grip of elections at the time. The BJP called it a case of “Love Jihad” - a conspiracy theory propounded by Hindutva groups which claim that Muslim men are luring Hindu women into marriage on false pretences, in order to convert them to Islam.

Now, following Anjali’s murder, the Opposition has launched an attack on the Congress government over a “breakdown of law and order” in the State. On May 19, the DCP law and order of Hubballi-Dharwad City M Rajeev was suspended in connection with the case. But irrespective of the party in power, crimes against women have continued unabated and have never really received the attention they deserve. 

To better understand the socio-cultural factors the drive such crimes, we spoke to Madhu Bhushan, an independent activist-and writer, who was with Vimochana, a women’s collective for almost three decades, and now works with the SIEDS Collective, Gamana Mahila Samooha and Naveddu Nilladiddare. 

Host: Nalme Nachiyar

Guest: Madhu Bhushan

Video and production: Ravichandran N.

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