Belagavi murder case: Girl’s parents hired men to kill Arbaz over interfaith relationship, say police; 10 arrested

Belagavi murder case: Arbaz Aftab Mullah’s body was found in Belagavi in a mutilated state on September 28.

In a major breakthrough, the Belagavi district police have arrested 10 persons in connection with the murder of a 24-year-old man, Arbaz Aftab Mullah last week. Those arrested include parents of Arbaz’s girlfriend who allegedly hired contract killers to murder Arbaz for being in a relationship with their daughter.

The arrested have been identified as Pundalika Maharaj (39), Kuthabuddhin 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.

Arbaz had gone missing on September 27 and his dismembered body was found on a railway track near Khanapura the next day. His mother, Najeema Shaikh, alleged that he was killed over his relationship with a Hindu girl.

Belagavi district Superintendent of Police (SP) Laxman Nimbargi said Eerappa and Susheela Eerappa — parents of Arbaz’s girlfriend  — had allegedly hired men to kill Arbaz. Pundalika is the prime accused who formed the team and killed Arbaz.

Arbaz, a resident of Azam Nagar in Belagavi, was a civil engineering graduate who worked as a car dealer in Belagavi city.

According to the police, on September 26, Arbaz and his mother went to Khanapur after Pundalika Maharaj asked them to come. Then, Arbaz and his mother were threatened with dire consequences over his interfaith relationship. They also reportedly made Arbaz delete all the photos of the girl from his phone and broke its SIM card.

On September 28, Pundalika, after the girl’s parents allegedly paid him to eliminate Arbaz, asked Abraz to come to his place. Upon his arrival, Pundalika and his team allegedly robbed him of his money and other belongings, and killed him before throwing his body on railway tracks, said the police.

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