Muslims denounce accused in Hubballi murder, observe half-day bandh in solidarity with her father

Shopkeepers put out a poster saying, "Justice for Neha Hiremath". Meanwhile, under the banner of the Dharwad unit of Anjuman-e-Islam, Muslim students too took out a march in the city holding banners and placards.
 BJP supporters take part in a protest demanding justice for Neha Hiremath who was stabbed to death, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, Monday, April 22, 2024.
BJP supporters take part in a protest demanding justice for Neha Hiremath who was stabbed to death, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, Monday, April 22, 2024.PTI photo

DHARWAD: Muslim men and women on Monday came out in large numbers and staged a demonstration, denouncing the accused from their own community, Fayaz Khondunaik, in the murder of college student Neha Hiremath and publicly stood by the Hindu victim's family.

Shops owned by Muslims were shut for half a day in solidarity with the family of Hiremath and to condemn the dastardly act that shook the twin city of Hubballi-Dharwad.

The shopkeepers put out a poster saying, "Justice for Neha Hiremath".

Under the banner of Dharwad unit of Anjuman-e-Islam, Muslim students, both boys and girls, too took out a march in the city holding banners and placards that read: "One murder of a human is equal to the murder of humanity" and "Girl students should be respected and protected".

As the BJP has also been staging demonstrations in the city as part of its statewide protest against the Neha murder case, elaborate security arrangements were made with the deployment of reserved police forces.

Neha Hiremath (23), daughter of Congress Councillor of Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation Niranjan Hiremath, was stabbed to death on the campus of BVB College by Fayaz Khondunaik on Thursday.

Fayaz, who fled from the scene, was arrested by the police subsequently.

Neha was a first-year Master of Computer Application (MCA) student and Fayaz was earlier her classmate.

The murder case, which sparked widespread outrage, has snowballed into a political slugfest between ruling Congress and opposition BJP.

While the ruling party has tried to project it as an incident with a personal angle, the saffron party has labelled it a "love jihad" case and claimed it stands testimony to the alleged deterioration of law and order in the state.

BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and other organisations aligned to Hindutva outfits have staged protests demanding justice, and calling for severe punishment for the accused.

Similar protests have been reported in various other places.

 BJP supporters take part in a protest demanding justice for Neha Hiremath who was stabbed to death, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, Monday, April 22, 2024.
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