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Hubballi horror: Family breaks down as Neha Hiremath laid to rest after brutal murder, outrage ensues (WATCH)

Neha Hiremath, daughter of Congress' Hubballi Corporator, was laid to rest on Friday a day after she was brutally murdered by Fayaz in the BVB college campus.

Hubballi horror: Family breaks down as Neha Hiremath laid to rest after brutal murder, outrage ensues (WATCH) snt
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First Published Apr 19, 2024, 6:15 PM IST

The brutal murder of Neha Hiremath, daughter of Congress' Hubballi Corporator Niranjan Hiremath, in her college campus has rocked the entire nation and sparked a political controversy in the state, with the opposition BJP and the Congress government clashing over 'love jihad' allegations.

Neha, a 23-year-old Masters of Computer Applications (MCA) student, was brutally killed by Fayaz on the premises of BVB College in Hubballi on Thursday. CCTV footage depicted Fayaz stabbing Neha numerous times before escaping. Authorities stated that Neha succumbed to her injuries inflicted by Fayaz, who was subsequently apprehended.

Also read: Hubli horror: Chilling CCTV footage of corporator's daughter stabbed 9 times in BVB campus surfaces (WATCH)

The victim's father, Niranjan Hiremath, revealed that the accused, Fayaz, was acquainted with the family, and they had made efforts to discourage him from pursuing Neha.

"He was an old student, and he had proposed to my daughter, but she rejected his proposal," Hiremath said. She did not like him, and she usually stayed away from all this... She refused his proposal, saying they both belonged to different castes and that she did not wish to have any relationship with him. Out of anger, he stabbed my daughter."

He further stated, "The motive of the murder is that the victim rejected the accused's love proposal... We had a conversation with the accused before the incident took place where we explained to him that we are Hindu and you are Muslim, so we cannot allow you to get married."

Neha Hiremath laid to rest

Amid widespread outrage over the heinous crime, various student groups and organizations in Karnataka organized protests on Friday, condemning the brutal murder and vehemently calling for the death penalty for the accused, Fayaz. Meanwhile, Neha Hiremath was laid to rest in Hubballi amidst heart-wrenching scenes of her family breaking down during her funeral procession.

Following the post-mortem examination at KIMS Hospital in Hubballi, Neha's body was carried in a procession accompanied by a large crowd for 3 kilometers to the Veerashaiva Jangama Rudrabhoomi, where the last rites were conducted.

Hubballi-Dharwad Veena Bharadwaj paid her final respects at the KIMS mortuary, while Minister Santosh Lad and MLA Prasad Abbayya visited the residence of Niranjan Hiremath to offer condolences to the family.

Minister Lad encountered the ire of BJP workers as he departed from the house. Additionally, Moorusavira Math seer Guru Siddarajayogindra Swami and Independent candidate Dingaleshwara Swami also visited the grieving family to express their condolences.

Protests erupt demanding justice for Neha

The funeral procession nearly transformed into a protest as the crowd voiced slogans demanding justice for Neha. Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner Renuka Sukumaran stated that students have the right to protest and reassured that justice would prevail.

“The accused was arrested in one hour of the incident and an FIR was filed. All information regarding the incident has been given to the family”, she added.

Meanwhile, heavy security measures were implemented at BVB College following protests staged by the Hindu Jagaran Vedike, Sri Rama Sene, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, who demanded justice for Neha. A large cutout of Neha was also erected during the demonstration. Some student protesters held placards advocating for the hanging of 'jihadi' Fayaz.

Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Mutalik said, "There is no security for students. The attack was carried out in ISIS style and maybe he underwent training. The parents of the accused are teachers. The Congress then sided with the British and is now taking the side of the Muslims. The law and order situation has become hopeless. The accused should be eliminated in an encounter and the Jamat-e-Islam should issue a fatwa against him. No lawyers, including Muslims, should take up his case, or else we will stage a huge protest."

In Munavalli town, located in Savadatti taluk of Belagavi district, the hometown of Mohammed Fayaz, a three-day bandh is underway from Friday to denounce the brutal murder of Neha Hiremath. Numerous organizations have initiated a social media campaign advocating for justice for Neha, labeling the murder as a case of 'love jihad'.

As a precautionary measure, the family of the accused Fayaz has been placed under protective custody by the Belagavi district police, and their residence has been secured.

Superintendent of Police Bheemashankar Guled stated, "There was a tense atmosphere, but it is peaceful now. The people have said there will be mourning for three days, but if shops and commercial establishments are closed forcibly, we will intervene. We have already deployed 100 civil policemen and one company of the CAPF. Public anger is directed at the accused and not at his family members. No one has gone towards their house and I thank the people for maintaining peace."

War of words over 'love jihad'

 

The BJP criticized the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, alleging that it prioritized appeasement politics over maintaining law and order. "This is an unfortunate incident and I believe there is an angle of 'love jihad' in this. When the girl refused (the guy’s) advances, she was murdered. Under the Congress government, law and order is not there," Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said.

The Karnataka government vehemently refuted the allegations, with State Home Minister G Parameshwara asserting that Neha and Fayaz were previously in a relationship that eventually deteriorated.

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar accused the BJP of trying to create fear and panic. "BJP is trying to threaten by showing that there is no law and order in Karnataka. Karnataka has the best law and order. They are just trying to tell the voters that they are going to put Governor's Rule in the state. They cannot do it. The law will take its own course for everyone," Shivakumar said.

The campus murder ignited widespread outrage, particularly from the BJP's student wing, ABVP, which demanded justice for Neha's death. Thousands of students joined the demonstrations, staging road blockades and advocating for a college shutdown in Hubballi.

Appealing for calm, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured the public of a thorough investigation. "An accused has already been arrested in connection with the incident, and I have instructed the Director General of Police to conduct a strict investigation and take action so that the accused receives the maximum punishment," he said. 

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