Nearly 10 days after the beheaded body of a 24-year-old man was found on a railway track in Karnataka’s Belagavi district, the police today claimed that the victim was murdered over an inter-faith relationship.
At least 10 people, including a right-wing leader, have been arrested for their involvement in the crime, the police said. The right-wing leader, identified as Maharaj Pundaleeka, took money from the girl’s family to murder the victim, police officials said.
The body was thrown on tracks to mislead the police, they said.
“Maharaj Pundaleeka is a prominent leader of the Sriram Sena Hindustan,” senior cop Laxman Nimbargi told NDTV.
The victim, Arbaz, was found on a railway track on September 28, following which a case of unnatural death was registered by railway police.
An autopsy of the body revealed that he was murdered and then placed on a railway track.
The case was later transferred to Belagavi police after Arbaz’s family alleged that he was murdered because of his inter-faith love affair.
“During the investigation, we found the girl’s parents opposed the relationship. They gave money to Maharaj Punadleeka to murder Arbaz,” a senior police officer said.
Arbaz’s mother, Nazeema Mohammad Sheikh, had filed a complaint that Arbaz was being threatened by the girl’s family members. Nazeema told police that fearing the safety of her son, she shifted to Belagavi city, about 31 km away from Khanapur where they were based earlier.
On September 26, Nazeema claimed, the girl’s family called Arbaz and her to Khanapur, where they were asked to end the relationship, citing religious differences. During the meeting, the girl’s family allegedly snatched Arbaz’s mobile and deleted the pictures and destroyed the sim card and threatened him, she alleged.
Two days later, Arbaz was called back by the girl’s father and Maharaj and murdered, police officials said.
In order to destroy the evidence, they threw the body on the railway track, they added. “The body was thrown on tracks to make it look like an accident or suicide,” a police official said.