Urdu editor stabbed to death in office

He also ran a micro credit society; money stolen from safe but cops tread cautiously

Urdu editor stabbed to death in office

A 64-year-old social worker, who edited an Urdu weekly besides
running a credit cooperative society, was found stabbed to death at his office at
Eidgah Complex, Tannery Road here on Wednesday morning.

Hafiz Shamsul Huda, a respected leader of the Muslim community in the eastern part of the City, was stabbed in the neck. The victim was the founder-president of Al-Quds Minorities Credit Cooperative Society and ran Makhzan (treasure), a four-page Urdu weekly.

Huda would be the first person to reach office every day. He would read the morning newspaper there. According to police, Huda left his house at Bamboo Bazaar, Shivajinagar, around 7 am as usual and reached office about two kilometre away. The newspaper and the society offices are next to each other.

A lady clerk employed with the society, who came to the newspaper office around 10 am, found the door latched. She opened the door, took the keys of her office and went out, latching the door again, a police source explained. It was a usual practice, the source added.

Fifteen minutes later, a young DTP operator employed with the newspaper arrived. He opened the door and went in. He then pushed open the door of the editor’s cabin and had the shock of his life — Huda was lying in a pool of blood with a deep injury on his neck.

Mansoor, who has his office on the same floor, said he rushed out upon hearing the young man’s screams. He found the elderly man murdered and called up the police, Mansoor added.

Kamal Pant, Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), said the motive for the murder was unclear. However, a small safe in the office was found broken open and money kept there missing. The investigation would ascertain whether it was a murder for gain or the money was stolen to mislead the investigators, he added. Pant further said that the post-mortem report and inquest would determine whether there were more injuries on the body.

A case of murder has been registered at the D J Halli police station. The post-mortem was conducted at the Bowring Hospital and the body handed over to the family in the evening. The funeral prayer was held late night.

Threat call?

According to Salman, his friend Huda had told him in a lighter vein a month ago about a threat call he had received on his mobile phone in the dead of night.

“Huda made fun of the caller, saying he spoke in English. When he asked him to speak in Urdu or Hindi, he disconnected the call,” Salman told Deccan Herald, adding that Huda neither appeared to take the call seriously nor elaborated on it later. He didn’t even inform the police, Salman lamented.

Some of Huda’s associates, however, allege that he had received the threat call for spearheading protests against the crisis-ridden Amanath Co-operative Bank Ltd.

Interestingly, the bank operates a branch in the ground floor of the same building where Huda’s offices are located.

A plot of land that Huda owned in the outskirts of the City was grabbed by some people and he was trying hard to evict them, another close associate explained, suspecting that it could be the motive.

When asked about the possible motives, Pant said the threat call issue was being probed and the investigation would cover all possible angles.

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