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Neha Hiremath murder: Karnataka murder sparks political frenzy; Congress-BJP clash over 'love jihad' angle

While the Congress has attempted to frame the incident as a personal matter, the BJP has seized upon it to criticise the perceived deterioration of law and order under the current government

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- April 20th 2024 02:30 PM
Neha Hiremath murder: Karnataka murder sparks political frenzy; Congress-BJP clash over 'love jihad' angle

Neha Hiremath murder: Karnataka murder sparks political frenzy; Congress-BJP clash over 'love jihad' angle

PTC Web Desk: The brutal murder of Neha Hiremath, the daughter of a Karnataka corporator, has tragically become a focal point of contention between the Congress and the BJP in the state. The 23-year-old was a first-year student of Master of Computer Applications in Hubbali when she was brutally stabbed seven times by a former classmate, Fayaz Khondunaik. The police suspect that the motive behind this heinous act was Neha's rejection of Fayaz's advances.

According to senior police officials, Fayaz, during interrogation, claimed that he and Neha had been in a relationship previously, but she had recently started avoiding him. This rejection allegedly drove him to commit this horrendous crime.


What started as a tragic personal tragedy has now spiraled into a political slugfest between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP. While the Congress has attempted to frame the incident as a personal matter, the BJP has seized upon it to criticise the perceived deterioration of law and order under the current government.

Union Minister and BJP candidate for Dharwad Lok Sabha, Pralhad Joshi, suggested a "love jihad" angle to the incident, implying religious conversion through love as a motive. He claimed that the incident is a testament to the state's deteriorating law and order situation under the Congress regime.

However, Karnataka's Home Minister G Parameshwara has refuted the "love jihad" angle, stating that there is no evidence of such a motive at present.

Adding to the government's woes, Neha's father, Niranjan Hiremath, a Congress corporator, also described the crime as a 'love jihad' case. He alleged that the accused had planned to "trap his daughter" and had been threatening her for some time.

"The gang had conspired for a long time. They had planned either to trap her or to execute her. They have been threatening her in that backdrop. However, the girl had not heeded to their threats," Mr. Hiremath stated to the media, expressing his anguish over his daughter's tragic fate.


The incident has sparked outrage and garnered attention at the national level, with Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi condemning the Congress government in Karnataka. Lekhi launched a scathing attack, alleging that the "C" in Congress stands for "corruption, criminality, and communal violence."

"Every government has a fundamental duty to ensure that our children receive proper moral and ethical education in schools. People should have faith that the state's law and machinery will ensure justice for those who commit wrongdoings. However, the Congress has failed in this aspect," Lekhi stated in a statement to news agency ANI.

In response, the Congress defended the state's law and order, accusing the BJP of attempting to impose Governor's rule in Karnataka. Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar asserted that the state has robust law enforcement and dismissed BJP's claims as baseless attempts to create unrest.

"The BJP is attempting to intimidate us... Karnataka has excellent law and order... They want to convey to voters that they will enforce Governor's rule. This is what R Ashoka (BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition) is quietly attempting. They aim to bring the state under Governor's rule, which is why they are staging this drama. But they cannot achieve it. It's impossible," Shivakumar emphasized.

Meanwhile, right-wing activists have staged protests outside Hubballi's Vidyanagar police station, demanding stringent punishment for the accused. Similar protests, advocating for justice and punishment for the Muslim accused, have been reported in various other locations.

- With inputs from agencies

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