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By K.M. Rakesh 

Ten persons have been arrested on the charge of murdering a Muslim youth who was in a relationship with a Hindu girl in Belgaum, Karnataka.

The girl’s parents — Eerappa Basavanna Kumbar, 54, and Susheela Kumbar, 42 — and members of a Hindu Right-wing organisation named Sree Ram Sena Hindustan were among those arrested on Friday, 10 days after the dismembered body of Arbaz Aftab Mulla, 24, was found near railway tracks at Khanapur in Belgaum district, 500km from Bangalore.

The decapitated body was found with hands tied at the back and multiple stab wounds.

Arbaz was a used-car dealer who lived with his widowed mother, Najeema Shaikh, a schoolteacher.

Sena leader Pundalik Maharaj, who was among seven persons detained on Sunday after figuring in the FIR, is also among those arrested.

Those arrested have been booked under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 341 (wrongful restraint), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 384 (extortion) and 388 (extortion by threat of an offence punishable with death). The maximum punishment is the death sentence.

In her complaint, Najeema had accused the girl’s father and members of the Sena of repeatedly threatening her and her son over the interfaith relationship.

The little-known organisation is said to be inspired by the Sree Ram Sene, a larger outfit that has a history of attacks against minority communities and their interests. The Sree Ram Sene has denied any link with the Sree Ram Sena Hindustan.

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