Hubballi murder: Accused’s mother demands strict punishment for son

PTI, Apr 20, 2024, 6:24 PM IST

The victim, Neha Hiremath

Hubballi (Karnataka): The mother of 23-year-old Fayaz, who allegedly killed daughter of a Congress councillor inside a college campus in Hubballi, apologised to the victim Neha’s family for her son’s act and demanded strict punishment for him.

There have been protests in several parts of the state demanding capital punishment for Fayaz, who has been arrested in connection with the incident that occurred on April 18.

With folded arms and tears in eyes, the accused’s mother Mamtaz, a teacher said, “I apologise to the people of Karnataka as well as Neha’s family for what my son has done. It is a great injustice to Neha and her family.

“What my son has done is completely wrong and we hang our heads in shame. What he did is a big mistake and he should be given strict punishment as per the law of the land,” she said.

Speaking to reporters in Dharwad, she said that her son and Neha were not just friends but that they were in love and wanted to marry.

Recalling Neha as a good girl, Mamtaz said she came to know about their relationship a year ago.

“It was Neha who made the first move and took his phone number. My son did tell me about Neha and that he was in love with her and they wanted to get married. But I had suggested that he first focus on his career.

“My son was very brilliant and always secured above 90 percent marks since LKG and UKG days. He wanted to become an IAS officer and was also a University Blue (bodybuilding competition) champion,” she said.

Meanwhile, former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday visited the victim’s family and offered condolences.

Condemning the incident, he said, “It was an inhumane act. The way Fayaz murdered Neha, it was inhumane. It is a condemnable act and I insist that the state government, Chief Minister and Home Minister conduct an impartial and speedy inquiry into the matter.”

The alleged murder of the daughter of the city corporation councillor on the campus of her college here has sparked widespread condemnation and protests.

The issue has snowballed into a political slugfest between the ruling Congress and opposition BJP in Karnataka. While the ruling party has tried to project it as an “incident with a personal angle”, the saffron party suspects “love jihad” and said that it points to the “deterioration of law and order” in the state.

Neha (23), the daughter of Congress Councillor of Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation Niranjan Hiremath, was allegedly stabbed to death on the campus of BVB College on Thursday. The accused Fayaz Khondunaik, who fled the scene, was arrested by police subsequently.

Neha was a first-year MCA student and Fayaz was her former classmate.

According to a senior police officer, Fayaz allegedly stabbed her multiple times. During interrogation, he claimed that the two had been in a relationship but she had been avoiding him of late.

“It needs to be corroborated and verified, but he was arrested immediately,” the officer said.

In Munavalli, Fayaz’s hometown in Belagavi district, the incident sparked outrage and demonstrations have been held by various organisations condemning the murder.

The victim’s family has been demanding that the accused be hanged to death and only then will their daughter’s soul rest in peace.

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