Hubballi murder case: Accused's mother demands strict punishment for son

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.
Last Updated : 20 April 2024, 14:29 IST
Last Updated : 20 April 2024, 14:29 IST

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Hubballi: 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.

Mumtaz Khandunayak, the mother of Fayaz, who murdered Neha Hiremath, an MCA student, on a college campus in Hubballi on Thursday, has apologised to the victim’s family and the people of Karnataka for her son’s act and demanded strict punishment for him.

Mumtaz is serving as a school teacher at Sindogi of Belagavi district.

Mumtaz told reporters in Dharwad on Saturday that she was ashamed of what her son did to Neha Hiremath and that Fayaz deserved stringent punishment.

“Fayaz was good in academics and I was hoping that he would become a KAS officer. He was a University Blue in bodybuilding. He 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 focus on his studies. Neha was a good girl. What he did is unfortunate and unpardonable and he should be punished for it as per the law of the land, Mumtaz said.

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.

‘Probe going off-track’

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.

‘Probe going off-track’

Meanwhile, Neha’s father Niranjan Hiremath, a Congress corporator, alleged that local Congress leaders misguided Home Minister G Parameshwara.

“Now it seems that the investigation is losing track, and invisible hands are conspiring against our family. An elected representative, who was with me, has misled the minister. In my complaint, I had named four more persons, but no action was taken in this regard,” he said.

“If justice is not served, I will write to the chief minister, home minister and the Governor, and end my life,” Hiremath told reporters in Hubballi on

Regarding the photographs of Neha and Fayaz being shared on social media, the girl's father said he has urged cyber crime police to close such fake accounts and to take action.

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.

'He tried to kill father'

Meanwhile, Raitha Sena Karnataka chief Veeresh Sobaradmath charged that Fayaz allegedly tried to kill his father at Munavalli police station a month back.

Women & Child Development Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, former minister Shankar Patil Munenakoppa, MLC Pradeep Shettar, Fakira Siddarama Swami, Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami and others visited Hiremath’s house at Bidnal in Hubballi, and consoled the family members.

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.

(With PTI inputs)

Published 20 April 2024, 14:29 IST

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