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'Very sorry. We will be on your side,' Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah to slain student's father

Siddaramaiah also informed Niranjan Hiremath, who is also a Congress councillor of Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, about the government's decision to hand over the murder case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and setting up a special court to fast-track trial.
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 09:26 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 09:26 IST

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Hubballi (Karnataka): Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday spoke to father of slain student Neha Hiremath over phone and said "sorry" over his daughter's killing, and assured that "we will be on your side".

The Chief Minister also informed Niranjan Hiremath, who is also a Congress councillor of Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, about the government's decision to hand over the murder case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and setting up a special court to fast-track trial.

"Niranjan... very sorry. We will be on your side," Siddaramaiah told Hiremath over the phone call during state's Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H K Patil's visit to Hiremath's house here.

In the conversation on Patil's phone with speakers on, Siddaramaiah can be heard informing Hiremath about the CID probe and setting up a special court.

"It is a serious offence... setting up a special court will ensure punishment for the accused person."

Hiremath thanked Siddaramaiah on behalf of his family well-wishers and the community for handing over the case to CID and setting up a special court "...ensure there is an order at the earliest and provide us justice," he said, as he also thanked Patil, Home Minister G Parameshwara, local Congress MLA Prasad Abbayya and others for their support.

Replying to this, Siddaramaiah said, "We will ensure it, at the earliest."

In a shocking incident, Neha Hiremath (23), was stabbed to death on the campus of BVB College last Thursday. The accused Fayaz Khondunaik, 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.

Siddaramaih on Monday had announced his government has decided to hand over the investigation into the incident to the Crime Investigation Department, and to set up a special court for speedy disposal of the case.

The case of brutal murder, 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 personal angle, the saffron party has called it a "love jihad" case and has said it's a testimony of deterioration of law and order in the state.

Earlier, Siddarmaiah's statement that the murder was due to "personal reasons" and Home Minister G Parameshwara's comments that the duo was in love, has elicited sharp reactions from Hiremath and family members and opposition parties.

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Published 23 April 2024, 09:26 IST

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