Udaipur killing: Pakistan man instructed accused to 'do something spectacular'
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has determined that the killing of Kanhaiyalal Teli in Udaipur was "meticulously planned" and "instigated" by a person in Pakistan identified as "Salman bhai," reported The Indian Express. He reportedly told one of the accused, Mohammad Ghouse, that he "must do something spectacular" in response to the remarks on the Prophet because "peaceful protests will yield no result."
- Kanhaiyalal's gruesome murder shocked everyone and invited condemnation from across the country.
- The incident also triggered protests in different parts of Udaipur, where all shops and businesses have been shut down following the incident.
- Authorities also temporarily suspended internet services in the Udaipur district as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of disinformation and rumors.
Reportedly, Ghouse 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, known as Abu Ibrahim, in Pakistan. According to the NIA's preliminary investigation, Ghouse and the other accused Muhammad Riyaz Atari began planning the attack "around June 10-15."
These Pakistani men are said to have informed the accused that a man known as "Babla bhai," who hails from the Dhanmandi area where Kanhaiyalal's Supreme Tailors was situated, had targeted 10-11 individuals over the remarks and designated various teams to assault them.
Meanwhile, as Udaipur struggles to return to normalcy following the heinous murder of tailor Kanhaiyalal, the government has declared the curfew will be lifted for four hours on Saturday. However, internet access is still unavailable. A Jagannath Yatra was peacefully conducted on Friday under strict security measures despite the uneasy calm in Udaipur. The Rajasthan Police so far arrested seven people in the case.
Three of the seven arrested suspects were reportedly transferred on Saturday from the high-security prison in Ajmer to a special court in Jaipur. The Udaipur Police has come under severe criticism for failing to provide Kanhaiyalal with security after he reported receiving threats due to his online post in support of the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
Kanhaiyalal was beheaded on Tuesday in the Maldas Street area of Rajasthan's Udaipur, days after he allegedly supported former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's remarks. Ghouse and Atari also shared a video message after the incident and even issued a threat to PM Narendra Modi. The horrific murder prompted the Centre to treat it as a terror attack.
Ghouse and Atari slit Kanhaiyalal's throat and then posted a video on social media where they claimed that they were avenging an insult to Islam. In the video, they threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Kanhaiyalal had apparently supported Sharma on social media over her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad during a TV channel debate.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot earlier condemned the shocking murder. "Strict action will be taken against all the criminals involved in this incident and the police will get to the bottom of it. I appeal to all parties to maintain peace," he tweeted in Hindi. "I appeal to everyone not to spoil the atmosphere by sharing the video of this incident."
Prominent Muslim organization Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind also earlier condemned the heinous murder, saying that such an act cannot be justified and is against Islam. Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi, General Secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, condemned the "brutal killing in Udaipur, apparently on the pretext of the insult to the Prophet" and called it against the law of land as well as "against the religion of Islam."
Amid reported communal tensions in the state, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the full respect of all religions. He also called for ensuring that different communities can live in harmony and peace globally. Guterres's spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, was responding to a question on whether the UN chief has a comment on the "resurgence" of religious tensions in India following Kanhaiyalal's murder.
Rejecting Indian media reports linking the tailor's murder to Pakistan, the country's Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad 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.
As per reports, there were 26 stab wounds on the victim's body as revealed by the post-mortem examination. Meanwhile, a court has sent the two primary accused to judicial custody for 14 days. As many as 32 officers of the Indian Police Service (IPS), including the Inspector General and Police Superintendent of Udaipur, have been transferred in the wake of the gruesome murder.