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Karnataka Police to exhume body of youth, killed over interfaith relationship, for DNA samples

Arbaz Aftab Mullah, a civil engineering graduate and a resident of Azam Nagar in Belagavi, was murdered near Khanapur and his body discovered near the railway tracks.

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 28, 2021 7:23:31 pm
The deceased, identified as Arbaz Mullah, a resident of Azam Nagar in Belagavi district, had gone missing on September 27.

A month after the murder of a 24-year-old man over an inter-faith relationship in Belagavi district of Karnataka, the state police decided to exhume the body to collect DNA samples for investigation.

Arbaz Aftab Mullah, a civil engineering graduate and a resident of Azam Nagar in Belagavi, was murdered near Khanapur and his body discovered near the railway tracks.

According to police sources, Arbaz’s body will be exhumed with the jurisdictional assistant commissioner, revenue department permission to collect DNA samples.

An officer said that the victim’s family members have been informed about the exhumation but the date was yet to be fixed. “In general, in DNA profiling we are going to collect samples like hair, blood, skin cells and many more. We will need to match it with the evidence that we have got from the crime scene and the vehicle which was used to transport his body,” he said.

When The Indian Express contacted Belagavi SP Laxman Nimbargi, he chose not to comment but a family member of Arbaz confirmed that the police had contacted them for the same.

On October 8, the police had arrested Pundalika Maharaj (39), Kuthubuddin Allahbaksh (36), Susheela Eerappa (42), Maruthi Prahlad (30), Manjunath Thukaram (25), Ganapathi Jnaneshwara (27), Eerappa Basavanni Kumbara (54), Prashanth Kallappa (28), Praveen Shankar (28) and Shridhar Mahadeva Doni (31). All the accused are residents of Belagavi village while Eerappa and Susheela are parents of the woman who gave alleged contract to Pundalika Maharaj to kill Arbaz. Pundalika is Khanapur taluk head of Sri Rama Sene Hindustan, a fringe right-wing outfit, while other accused were working for him. The accused have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 341 (wrongful restraint), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 384 (extortion) 388 (Extortion by threat) of the IPC and under section 27 (use of prohibited arms) of Indian Arms Act.

The Citizen’s Team, a group of activists, released a fact-finding report Thursday stating that the incident is being snubbed as a contract killing and not communal murder and thus downplaying the role of activists of Sri Rama Sene Hindustan in the murder. The report also summarized that there are a lot of efforts to radicalize the Maharashtra-Karnataka region and the attacks on minorities in this region has become a ‘new normal’.

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