INDIA. Mumbai: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the probe into the brutal killing of the chemist Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe (54) in Amravati in Maharashtra on June 21 following his Facebook post in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
“MHA has handed over the investigation of the case relating to the barbaric killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati Maharashtra on 21st June to NIA. The conspiracy behind the killing, involvement of organizations, and international linkages would be thoroughly investigated” MHA tweeted.
Investigators believe that Kolhe, residing at Ghanshyam Nagar in Amravati, was killed while returning home on the night of June 21 near Prabhat Chowk, allegedly in retaliation for a social media post supporting Nupur Sharma, who had allegedly made controversial remarks on the Prophet Mohammad during a television debate.
Based on a complaint by Umesh Kolhe’s son Sanket, the City Kotwali Police Station in Amravati arrested the accused Muddasir Ahmed alias Sonu Raza Shaikh (22) (a resident of Bismillah Nagar behind Abuzar mosque) and Shahrukh Pathan alias Badshah Hidayat Khan (25) (a resident of Sufiyan Nagar) on June 23.
After the interrogation of the accused Nanu alias Abdul Thoufik (24) (of Lalkhali area near Imam Hussain mosque), Atib Rashid (22) (of Maulana Azad Nagar) and Shoaib alias Bhurya Khan (22) (a resident of Chhaya Nagar) were arrested on June 23. Shoaib was stated to be the one who stabbed Kolhe.
The sixth accused Dr. Yusuf Khan Bahadur Khan (44), running a clinic in Amravati city, was arrested on Friday night, on charges of provoking other accused against Kolhe. “Khan had made a post on a WhatsApp group against Kolhe saying he was circulating posts supporting Nupur Sharma. This provoked the accused against Kolhe and they decided to murder him.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Amravati city) Vikram Sali said, “The motive behind the murder was to take revenge for the post made by Kolhe in support of Nupur Sharma. The arrested Dr. Yusuf Khan was remanded to police custody till July 04 by a magistrate court on Saturday.”
Similarly Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim (Irfan Khan) (32) the 7th and the prime accused, was arrested by the state police from Nagpur on Saturday. According to officials, Khan allegedly hatched a conspiracy to kill Kolhe and roped in five others, by offering them money.
The murder of the Udaipur tailor
In another development the Jaipur court (Rajasthan) sent the four accused arrested in connection with the murder of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli, to 10 days in NIA custody on Saturday.
The four accused were produced before the CBI court number 01 dealing with NIA cases. The court sent them to 10-day NIA custody. Subsequently, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Rajasthan Police handed over all documents related to the case to the NIA. Besides two more accused stated to be Muslim, based in Rajasthan, were held for planning Teli’s
murder on Saturday.
Teli was hacked to death, allegedly by Mohammad Riyaz and Ghouse Mohammad, on June 28 for purportedly sharing on social media, Nupur Sharma’s remarks on the Prophet. While Riyaz and Ghouse were arrested the same day, two other accused- Asif Hussain and Mohsin Khan- were subsequently detained. The incident sparked tensions between two communities and the police imposed a curfew and suspended the Internet services to prevent the clashes from escalating.