Auto driver Mohammad Ijaz of Karnataka brutally hacked his wife Arfa Bano, nee Apoorva Puranik, 23 times with an axe/machete on Thursday for seeking a divorce after finding out that he was already married and a father of three children. The couple had a son, aged two, of their own as well. The victim is currently admitted in a hospital in Gadag, Karnataka, battling for life
Ijaz is an auto-driver from Hubli and his age has been reported variously as 38 or 30 years. Apoorva, aged 26, is a graduate and reportedly the only child of her parents. It is said that Ijaz had lied to Apoorva that he was pursuing his education and was only working part time as an auto driver. It is not known whether he had faked a Hindu identity as well, as is a common practice in grooming jihad, and how long ago the two had started a relationship. The property Apoorva would inherit from her parents is also suspected to be one of the reasons why Ijaz zeroed in on her.
In 2018, the two got married against the wishes of the girl’s family.
(Warning: distressing images)
Apoorva converted to Islam and got the new name of Arfa Bano. As is often the case, the mask of romance and tolerance soon dropped and Ijaz started harassing Apoorva, constantly pressurising her to adopt an Islamic lifestyle – cook non-vegetarian food, wear a burqa etc. Apoorva was reluctant to do so but somehow adapted. Apoorva’s parents also reconciled with their daughter and began to interact with her and Ijaz. The couple had a son.
After a few years, Apoorva was shocked to find out that Ijaz was already married to a Muslim woman and had three children from the first marriage. This proved to be the final straw and four months ago she shifted to her parent’s residence in Gadag along with her two-year-old son. She also filed for divorce at a local court.
On Thursday, she had gone to a public ground with a neighbor to learn to ride a two-wheeler. Ijaz suddenly came there with an axe and chased and attacked Apoorva’s head, shoulders and face. Apoorva’s shocked companion ran for help, but by the time more people and police arrived, the attacker had fled leaving Apoorva bloodied and collapsed on the ground. She was rushed to a local hospital in Gadag and is in a critical condition.
Gadag district Superintendent of Police Shivaprakash Devaraju has said that police is looking out for the accused, and as per a report he has been arrested in the wee hours of Friday morning.