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No arrests in Karnataka suspected hate crime

By, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Oct 04, 2021 03:20 AM IST

Officials at Belagavi rural police station said the murder case, which was originally registered with railway police, was transferred to the district police on Sunday. 

Police are yet to make any arrest in connection with the murder of a 24-year-old Muslim man, whose decapitated body was found on a railway track in Belagavi district last week, officials familiar with the developments said on Sunday.

The decapitated body of Arbaz Mullah was found on the railway tracks in Khanapur in the border district, about 505 kms from Bengaluru, on September 28. (AFP)
The decapitated body of Arbaz Mullah was found on the railway tracks in Khanapur in the border district, about 505 kms from Bengaluru, on September 28. (AFP)

At least three persons have been booked for murder so far.

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Officials at Belagavi rural police station said the case, which was originally registered with railway police, was transferred to the district police on Sunday. “We are currently questioning some suspects in the case and arrests will be made soon,” a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.

The decapitated body of Arbaz Mullah was found on the railway tracks in Khanapur in the border district, about 505 kms from Bengaluru, on September 28. While police had initially registered a case of unnatural death, they later filed a murder case after post-mortem report revealed injuries to the head.

In her complaint to the police, the deceased’s mother, Nazeema Mohammad Sheikh, alleged that her son, who was a car dealer, was killed by the family and relatives of a Hindu woman he was in a relationship with.

Sheikh claimed the two families were aware of the relationship and also alleged the role of two members of a Hindu right-wing group in the murder.

“We knew about the relationship and I had spoken to the woman’s mother to ensure she doesn’t meet him. I also told my son not to meet her. I shifted from Khanapur to Azam Nagar in Belagavi with my son. But the two continued to meet, and we started getting threats from her family and relatives,” Sheikh said.

A relative of the deceased alleged that the woman’s family roped in members of Sri Ram Sene who, on September 26, reportedly threatened the man.

“They called him to Khanapur where he took his phone and deleted the woman’s photos. They also demanded money from him for a settlement. He then sold his (Volkswagen) Polo car for 90,000 to pay them,” the relative said, seeking anonymity.

The relative added that the members of the group also threatened to pour acid on their faces if Mullah failed to pay them the money.

Sheikh said that she was out of town on September 26 when Mullah informed her about the threats and subsequently went missing. She learnt about his murder after a railway guard called her from her son’s number.

Based on her complaint, police booked three persons, including the girl’s father, for murder (section 302 of Indian Penal Code).

Asked why the named suspects have not been taken into custody, Belagavi rural police said the procedure of transferring the case and other “technical” matters are currently underway.

“As we said, we are questioning some suspects and we will soon arrest the culprits,” a senior station house officer, said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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