A 25-year-old man’s decapitated body has been found on a railway track in Karnataka’s Belagavi district, with the police suspecting that he may have been killed for being in an interfaith relationship, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.
The man has been identified as Arbaz Mullah, a resident of Azam Nagar in Belagavi. He had gone missing on September 27 and his beheaded and mutilated body was found on a railway track in the Khanapura taluk the next day.
A post-mortem examination and investigations have revealed that the man was murdered, according to the newspaper. The police reportedly suspect the involvement of a Hindutva outfit in the alleged murder.
In her complaint to the police, Mullah’s mother had also accused members of a Hindutva organisation of having murdered her son.
“Arbaz was in a relationship with a girl from a different community, and according to his mother, he was allegedly threatened before and a local activist had tried to extort money from him to spare him,” a police officer said, The Indian Express reported.
The case of Mullah’s death has been transferred from the railway police to the district police.
Superintendent of Police Lakshman Nimbargi said that the police are looking into all angles of the offence, The Hindu reported. He added that a team has been formed to trace the culprits.
The police have detained members of the girl’s family for questioning, The Indian Express cited unidentified officials as saying.
In recent years, there have been several instances of people in interfaith relationships facing violence and harassment.
In June, a Dalit man and his Muslim partner were killed allegedly by the girl’s family in Karnataka’s Vijaypura district, The News Minute reported.
In May 2018, a Muslim man in an interfaith relationship was killed allegedly by the woman’s family in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.
Some Hindutva activists espouse a conspiracy theory of “love jihad”, which, according to them, involves Muslim men forcibly converting Hindu women to Islam through marriage.