Neha Hiremath murder case: K’taka Police rule out love jihad angle

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Police have ruled out the love jihad angle in the MCA student Neha Hiremath murder case.

The police in their charge sheet, which has been submitted to the Hubballi court, have said that refusal of marriage resulted in her murder. The charge sheet has not made any reference to love jihad.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has submitted 483 pages of charge sheet against the accused Fayaz Kondikoppa, mentioning 99 pieces of evidence, including testimonies from Neha’s father Niranjan Hiremath, a Congress corporator, her mother, brother, classmates, friends, and lecturers. The charge sheet also includes eyewitness accounts and CCTV footage related to the brutal murder.

The police have charged Fayaz under IPC 302 (murder, which attracts capital punishment or life imprisonment), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 506 (criminal intimidation). The charge sheet explains that Fayaz and the deceased Neha were classmates at P.C. Jabin College in Hubballi during 2020-21. They became friends and started a romantic relationship in 2022.

In 2024, both developed a discord, and Neha stopped talking to Fayaz. After being neglected, Fayaz developed a grudge against her and decided to kill her.

On the evening of April 18, 2024, Fayaz attacked her with a knife, stabbing her repeatedly and killing her. The charge sheet also mentions that before attacking Neha, Fayaz shouted at her, saying that after being in love for all this time, she wouldn’t marry him. He then said he wouldn’t leave her and started stabbing her. Fayaz later left his knife at the scene and fled, the charge sheet stated.

Fayaz had planned to kill Neha after her refusal to marry him. He had purchased a knife from the Arya Super Bazar in Dharwad three days before the murder. He had also purchased a red cap and covered his face with a black mask when he entered the college campus on the day of the crime. The CID has collected CCTV footage in this regard, according to the charge sheet.

The charge sheet was submitted to the court on Tuesday evening, 81 days after the murder.

The gruesome incident, which took place ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, shook the state, raising concerns about the safety of female students and young women.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister G. Parameshwara’s statements dubbing the incident as a love case created public outrage in the state, following which both apologised to the family for their remarks.

The development is likely to trigger a debate, as Neha’s parents had vehemently claimed that their daughter was tortured to marry and religious conversion by the accused.

Neha’s father, Niranjan Hiremath, claimed that a group of people systematically hatched a conspiracy to finish her off. Niranjan Hiremath also stated that Karnataka Congress in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had promised his family a speedy trial and that they would ensure capital punishment for the accused.

–IANS

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