Mumbai: Exactly a year ago, when Najeema Shaikh first discovered her 24-year-old son Arbaz Mulla was in love with a woman (name withheld) belonging to the Hindu community, she knew her son would be killed. In a desperate attempt to save him from trouble, she moved multiple houses and tried every trick in the book to keep the couple apart. “But they were simply inseparable,” she says.
On September 28, Arbaz’s decapitated body was found lying over 30 km away from Belagavi district, on the railway tracks between Desur and Khanapur railway stations.
Men belonging to the Sri Ram Sene, a notoriously violent right-wing outfit in Karnataka, and the woman’s family have been accused of abducting Arbaz, killing him, dismembering his body, and eventually throwing his body on the railway tracks to make it appear like a suicide. According to the police, the evidence found close to the body and several incidents leading to Arbaz’s death clearly indicate that it was a premeditated murder, after which attempts were made to dispose of the body.
While Najeema has clearly named three persons – Sri Ram Sene men Pundalik Maharaj and Birje and the woman’s father Kumbhar – in her FIR and has narrated the events leading to her son’s death, the police are yet to make any arrests. The FIR doesn’t mention the first names of Birje and Kumbhar. Sources in the Belagavi railway police claim that so far 33 persons, including the woman’s family members and Sri Ram Sene members, have been “detained for questioning”. But formal arrests are yet to be made. While the investigating officer, Anjayya, refused to talk over the phone, his subordinate Satyappa Mukkannavar claimed that since the investigation is ongoing, he could not confirm anything.
The case has now been transferred to the Belagavi district police.