‘Withdraw case or else’: Family of lynched Karnataka Muslim youth faces death threats

Sameer Shahpur (19) was brutally attacked by Bajrang Dal members on January 17, hours after some local leaders of the outfit delivered anti-Muslim hate speeches to a crowd gathered inside the Nargund police station.


By Mohammed Irshad / The News Minute

The family of a Muslim youth lynched by Hindutva men in Karnataka’s Nargund taluk in Gadag district in January this year has been receiving death threats from men allegedly associated with the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu radical outfit. Sameer Shahpur (19) and his friend Shamsheer Khan Pathan (22) were brutally attacked by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad affiliated Bajrang Dal when they were on their way to a barber shop on a bike on January 17. Shamsheer though grievously injured luckily survived while Sameer succumbed. The attack had come hours after some local Bajrang Dal leaders delivered anti-Muslim hate speeches to a crowd that had gathered inside the Nargund police station to protest against the cases being filed against Hindutva supporters in connection with communal incidents.

Sameer’s father Subhansaab Shahpur (52) told TNM that on Monday, August 15, he was waylaid by a group of men who asked him to withdraw the case against the accused in the murder of his son. “Your two other sons will face the same fate if you don’t take back the case,” Subhansaab said.

In January, eight accused including local Bajrang Dal leader Sanju Nalvade, who had made the speech targeting the minority community, were arrested. Among the accused, two juveniles are out on bail while the other six are behind bars. Their supporters are now allegedly threatening the family, which is fighting a legal battle to bring the perpetrators of Sameer’s murder to justice.

On August 13, Subhansaab was accosted by a group of men and warned to stop pursuing the case against their colleagues. “Few days back while I was on my way home from the market, some unknown people heckled me and threatened to kill me. But they left me unhurt,” he recounted while speaking to TNM. “When I narrated the incident to my family, they also got scared. I was afraid to speak about this to the police.”

Two days later, on Independence Day, Subhansaab faced a similar encounter when he was waiting for a bus outside his brother’s eatery to go home. “It was around 3.30 pm, three youths came running towards me and started to abuse me and my family badly. I couldn’t say a word because of fear,” he said.

This story was originally published in thenewsminute.com . Read the full story here

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