Police in Karnataka’s Belgavi on Sunday said they were suspicious that a 24-year old man, whose beheaded body was found on railway tracks in Khanapur town, might have been murdered over an inter-faith relationship, PTI reported.
The beheaded body of Arbaz Aftab Mulla was found in Khanapur on September 28. The railway police had initially registered a case of unnatural death, but the autopsy report revealed stab injuries on Mulla’s head, indicating a case of murder.
The Superintendent of Police (Railways) Siri Gowri said they have now lodged a case of murder based on a complaint filed by Mulla’s mother Najeema Shaikh, according to The Indian Express. Gowri said that the case will be transferred to Belgavi Police since post-mortem report has showed that Mulla did not die after being hit by a train.
Belgavi Police said that while the case had not yet been officially handed over, initial investigation had shown Mulla had a relationship with a Hindu girl that led to the suspected murder.
“All the accused have been identified...Efforts are on to find out the exact sequence of events,” an unidentified police officer told The Indian Express. He added that the police was suspecting involvement of persons linked to a Hindutva group.
In her complaint, Mullah’s mother had alleged that members of a Hindutva group and the father of the girl with whom Mulla had a relationship, had murdered him. Shaikh said that she was aware of Mulla’s relationship and had urged him to stop meeting the girl.
She added said that few days ago, two Hindu activists, Birje and Maharaj, had threatened her son of “dire consequences” if he did stay away from the girl. Then on September 26, she and Mulla went to Khanapur to settle the matter, Shaikh said.
“In their presence, Arbaz [Mulla] deleted all the photos of his girlfriend on his phone...They also took some money from us,” Shaikh said, according to The Indian Express. “They told me that there were at least a thousand people ready to lynch Arbaz and me...Arbaz disposed of his old SIM card and took a new one too.”
The police suspect that one of the persons involved in the case is a Khanapur-based social activist associated with Sri Ram Sena Hindustan, according to The Hindu.
Pramod Mutalik, the founder of another Hindutva group Sri Rama Sena said that some of its members had left the outfit to form the Sri Ram Sena Hindustan. However, Mutalik denied the involvement of his organisation.