Man stabs woman to death in Karnataka for rejecting his advances, police ignored complaints of harassment

In April, the grandmother of the victim filed a complaint of harassment against the accused, Girish Sawanth, before the local police.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published May 15, 2024 | 3:18 PMUpdatedMay 15, 2024 | 4:15 PM

Police inspecting the murder spot in Hubballi. (Screengrab)

A 20-year-old woman was allegedly murdered by a 22-year-old man in Hubballi in Karnataka in the wee hours on Wednesday, 15 May for rejecting his marriage proposal.

Anjali Ambiger was stabbed to death by a repeat offender Girish Sawanth.

The horrific incident unfolded nearly a month after a college student, Neha Hiremath, was murdered in Hubballi City which was given communal colour by several organisations and opposition parties in Karnataka. A similar incident was reported in Veerapura Onni in Bendigeri locality in Hubballi City.

In April, the grandmother of Anjali filed a complaint of harassment against Girish before the local police. They had informed the police about his death threat against Anjali.

However, the police are said to have not pursued the case seriously.

A case was registered at the Bendigeri Police Station on Wednesday against the accused who is facing burglary and other charges in different police stations in Hubballi-Dharwad City limits.

The police have formed multiple forms to catch the accused who fled from the sport after hacking the woman to death.

It should be noted that, with at least eight similar cases reported in the last year, Karnataka has been witnessing a rise in such cases.

In all the cases, women have been killed for the sole reason of rejecting advances by men or asserting themselves.

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The murder

Anjali, a resident of Veerapura Onni, is employed at a catering service centre in Hubballi. The accused Girish stays in the same locality and is a daily wage labourer.

According to police sources, Anjali had been living with her three sisters in her grandmother’s home since their father left them 14 years ago and their mother passed away 13 years ago.

“She discontinued her studies after SSLC. She had been employed in a catering service centre for the last few years. The victim was stabbed multiple times resulting in her death at the spot,” claimed police.

Yashodha Ambiger, younger sister of the victim, told reporters in Hubballi: “A person named Girish knocked on our door in the wee hours on Wednesday. When we opened the door, he entered inside and asked for our grandmother, who was sleeping.”

“When we woke her up, he asked her to get Anjali married to him as he is in love with her. My grandmother asked him to bring elders from his home to speak about it. Then, he threatened my sister to come out,” said Yashodha.

“He took out a knife and asked my sister to step behind. As she was moving aside, he stabbed her in the stomach. We had also alerted police about him threatening us.”

“We went to the police station on Hanuman Jayanthi (23 April) to inform this matter. He had threatened Anjali that if she did not go along with him to Mysuru, he would kill her similar to the recent murder (referring to Neha Hiremath case) that occurred at a college in Hubballi.”

“We detailed this to the police who assured us that they would look into the matter. Police searched for him but couldn’t find him. He fled after stealing the jewellery of a girl from the same locality. Police have tried their best,” Yashodha added.

Yashodha said that he used to threaten his sister frequently over the phone.

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Police on the hunt for the accused

After murdering Anjali, Girish has fled the spot and the Hubballi-Dharwad City police have set up multiple teams to nab him.

The accused is also facing burglary and other charges in various police stations, claimed police.

Following the murder, he has been booked under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Rajeev M told South First: “The murder has been reported around 6 am. The accused was threatening the victim and her family to get her married to him. They were not in a relationship before this incident.”

“The victim and her family were against this proposal. The family has only female members. A case has been registered and we have set up multiple teams to nab him. The probe is underway,” said Rajeev.

When asked about the allegations of police failing to pursue the matter seriously despite the victim’s family flagging a threat from the accused, he said: “We will look into this matter as well. If the police failed to act on the complaint by the victim’s family, we will initiate action against the concerned police personnel.”

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)