The decapitated body of a man was found on the railway tracks near Khanapur in Belagavi district on Saturday. Police are suspecting that the victim was killed by members of some right-wing organisation on charges of ‘love jihad’.
Local farmers noticed the body and alerted the railway station master, and a team of Railway police personnel visited the spot. The victim was identified as Arbaz Nawaz (27) by villagers. Nawaz’s relatives told the investigating officers that Nawaz had received death threats from some right-wing leaders in Khanapur. Another relative informed an office that Nawaz had been missing since Friday.
According to Sameer Parshwadi, a relative of Arbaz, the gruesome took place on September 28. “From the last two months he had been receiving threatening calls from one person claiming to be from the Ram Sena. On September 26 his mother also got a call, with some people asking them to go to attend a meeting and settle the issue at Khanapur. She and Arbaz had stopped about a kilometer before it,” he said in a video statement put out by Maktoob Media.
The mother of Arbaz in her complaint has alleged that the love affair between her son and the Hindu girl and subsequent death threats from Hindutva groups lead to her son’s death.
Sameer said that Arbaz, who was apparently in love with a Hindu woman named Swetha, had been asked to delete photos and everything after meeting with the Ram Sena members. “Some money was also asked to settle the issue. On September 28, Monday, Arbaz kept getting repeated calls, and he informed his mother as well. Arbaz told her he is going to settle the issue and went out, after which we got to know around 8 p.m. (about the incident),” he added.
After initial probe by Railway police, the case was transferred to the District police. “We are looking into all angles of the offence and a team has been formed to trace and apprehend the culprits,” Lakshman Nimbaragi, SP, said.