Months after the brutal lynching of Karnataka Muslim man Sameer Shahpur by members of Hindutva outfit Bajrang Dal, the father of slain Muslim said he has been receiving death threats from men associated with the same outfit.
19-year old Sameer Shahpur and 22-year old Shamsheer Khan Pathan, two friends hailing from Naragund of Karnataka, were brutally attacked by the members of the Hindutva outfit on 17 January this year which resulted in Sameer’s death.
On 14 August 2022 while he is returning to home after work, 52 year old Subhansaab Shahpur, Sameer’s father was threatened by saffron men. The elderly man was surrounded by three men, who hurled anti-Muslim slurs. All the three were in their mid 20s, Subhansaab said to Maktoob.
“While I was returning back from work, some men ageing mid 20s surrounded me and abused me. They even tried hitting me, but I defended myself. One man later threatened me to withdraw the FIR I had lodged against Bajrang Dal members in Sameer’s murder. They said if I didn’t do so, they’ll kill my other two sons,” he said to Maktoob.
“Your two other sons will face the same fate if you don’t take back the case,” the men said to Subhansaab.
Eight men including Sanju Nelvade, leader of Bajrang Dal were arrested in connection with Sameer’s murder. Among the accused, two juveniles are out on bail while the other six are behind bars.
“I was relieved when the police reached the spot. Seeing the police two of them fled away and police couldn’t catch them. One arrested,” slain Sameer’s father said.
He went on to say: “When I narrated the incident to my family, everyone got worried. But, I won’t withdraw the FIR. I will fight this legal battle until my son Sameer gets Justice.”
Subhansaab who is a daily wager, is now worried about his wife as she used to stay alone the whole day in house.
While talking to the DYSP of Naragund, the officer confirmed the arrest of one Bajrang Dal member. However, he was released on bail next day.
The FIR was only registered against one person though Subhaansaab said to police that there were three men. The FIR is registered against one person named Veerupax under IPC sections 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt).
“Our department had arrested one person accused of threatening Subhansab. He was drunk and had lost his consciousness. The next day, when he produced in the court, the judge passed his bail saying he was out of his conscious power while performing the act,” said Shivanand Kategi, DYSP, Naragund.
Sameer’s friend Shamsheer who was too attacked by Bajrang Dal members says he’s afraid that their next target will be him.
Shamsheer works as photographer in a studio and says he is now frightened to go to work as some give him a weird stare.