Monday, May 27, 2024

Karnataka CM rejects ‘love jihad’ allegation in murder of Congress councillor’s daughter

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday dismissed allegations of “love jihad” in connection with the murder of a Congress councillor’s daughter in Hubbali district.

“Love jihad” is a term used by the Hindu political and religious right to describe an alleged phenomenon where Muslim men lure Hindu women into marrying them and converting to Islam. Hindu groups claim, without evidence, it is a conspiracy of an organised racket.

Siddaramaiah was referring to the killing of 21-year-old Neha Hiremath, who was stabbed to death by her former classmate, 23-year-old Fayaz, on the campus of KLE Technological University on Thursday. She was a computer applications postgraduate student.

The victim’s father, Niranjan Hiremath, on Friday alleged that the murder may have been a case of “love jihad.” Niranjan Hiremath is councillor from the Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation representing the Congress.

However, the chief minister dismissed the father’s claim.

“Whatever murder happened is due to personal reasons. The law and order situation is very good in Karnataka. It is our duty to maintain law and order and we are doing it,” Siddaramaiah said.

Fayaz, a resident of Savadatti in Belagavi district, was captured on CCTV camera stabbing Neha Hiremath several times before fleeing. Fayaz, who was also injured in the attack, was taken to a hospital with his victim and subsequently arrested. The police on Friday produced him before a magistrate who sent him to 14-day judicial custody.

Members from the Muslim community organised protests to demand that Fayaz be punished.

Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of Hindutva group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, organised protests in Hubballi demanding justice for Neha Hiremath. Islamophobic slogans were raised during the protests.


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