Belagavi, Oct 8: The Belagavi police on Friday, 8 October, arrested 10 persons including a local leader of the Hindutva right-wing outfit, Sri Ram Sene, for having killed a 24-year-old Muslim youth, Arbaz Aftab Mulla in cold blood.
The Ram Sene leader, Pundalik Maharaj, was a suspect from the time Mulla's family accused him of having threatened the youth over a period of six months. Another Sri Ram Sene leader, Prashant Kallappa is also arrested. Also arrested are the parents of the woman with whom Mulla was in an alleged relationship.
Mulla's mother, Nazeema Mohammed Gouse Sheikh, had accused the woman's father of involvement.
On the day of the murder, Mulla was called from Belagavi to Khanapur. "He was murdered near the railway track. Then the body was thrown on the railway track to make it appear like a train accident or suicide attempt," Superintendent of Police Laxman Nimbargi said at a press conference held on Friday.
The police confirmed that Arbaz Mulla was in love with a Hindu woman. Even after the deceased shifted from Khanapur to Belagavi, "the relationship continued". Two days before the murder, there was a meeting between some mediators and the families of the two.
"Even after the mediation had reached a settlement, the murder happened on 28 September," the SP said.
Answering a question about the murder being communal, the SP said, "Yes that is a party of the investigation".
The parents – Shusheela Eerappa (42) and Eerappa Basavanni Kumbara (54) – had hired contract killers to finish off Mulla, the police said in a press release. Others arrested include Kuthabuddhin Allahbaksh (36), Maruthi Prahlad (30), Manjunath Thukaram (25), Ganapathi Jnaneshwara (27), Prashant Kallappa (28 and Praveen Shankar (28 and Shridhar MahadevaDoni (30).
Mulla was in a relationship with a woman, who was his neighbour. He was a resident of Belagavi even though he used to stay at Khanapur till six months ago.
Members of Sri Ram Sene had threatened him of dire consequences event three days before his death, the family had alleged. Mulla had gone missing on September 28 and his body was found on a railway track near Khanapur, Belagavi. He was a used cars salesman.