Udaipur killers crafted knives themselves to behead tailor Kanhaiya Lal
The knives used by Riyaz Akhtari and Ghaus Mohammad to slit tailor Kanhaiya Lal's throat in Udaipur last week were allegedly crafted by Akhtari in a factory. The duo also filmed a video before the incident and another after the killing in the SK Engineering Works factory in Udaipur's Sapetiya. During the police interrogation, it was revealed that Akhtari had crafted six butcher knives.
- The gruesome murder of Lal, a small tailor from Rajasthan's Udaipur, shocked everyone and invited condemnation across the country.
- It also triggered protests in different parts of Udaipur, where all shops and businesses were shut down following the incident.
- The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after a terror angle emerged and was seen as a threat to national security.
The six knives were reportedly kept with a local butcher, Mohsin Murgewala, for the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival. The NIA has arrested Murgewala and unraveled the plot that was hatched to kill Lal for supporting former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her comments against Prophet Muhammad. While two knives were used to kill Lal, the remaining four have been recovered.
Meanwhile, NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the latter's residence on Monday. While some officials said it was a courtesy call, sources reportedly said they discussed certain crucial updates on the Udaipur and Amravati killings. The meeting lasted around 35 minutes, but Gupta refused to comment on what was discussed or give an update on the Udaipur incident.
Lal was beheaded on June 28 in the Maldas Street area of Rajasthan's Udaipur, days after he allegedly supported Sharma's remarks. Akhtari and Mohammad, who had claimed to have murdered the victim in a video message after the incident, even issued a threat to PM Narendra Modi in the clip. The horrific murder prompted the Centre to treat it as a terror attack.
The duo slit Lal's throat and posted a video on social media where they claimed that they were avenging an insult to Islam. In this video, they even threatened PM Modi. Lal had apparently supported the suspended BJP spokesperson Sharma in a Facebook post over her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad and his marriage during a TV channel debate.
Reportedly, one of the accuses, Mohammad, traveled to Pakistan in December 2014 to participate in a 45-day program hosted by Dawat-e-Islami, a "Pakistan-based radical Islamic organization." After his return in 2015, he kept in touch with "Salman bhai" and another person, Abu Ibrahim, in Pakistan. According to the NIA's preliminary investigation, Mohammad and the other accused Akhtari began planning the attack "around June 10-15."
Meanwhile, rejecting Indian media reports linking the tailor's murder to Pakistan, the country's Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad earlier issued a statement. "We categorically reject any such insinuations, which are typical of the BJP-RSS Hindutva-driven Indian regime's attempts at maligning Pakistan...Such malicious attempts will not succeed in misleading the people, either in India or abroad," the FO was quoted as saying by Samaa TV.