Udaipur: March to protest tailor's murder; UN calls for harmony
Thousands took to the Udaipur streets on Thursday as part of a silent protest march against the gruesome murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal. The march called by Hindu organizations briefly turned turned violent with sloganeering and stone pelting. The police had to step in to control the situation and disperse the agitating crowd from the area.
- The gruesome murder shocked everyone and invited condemnation 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.
Additional DG Dinesh MN said that the curfew was relaxed on the route of the march and permission was given for the 'Sarv Hindu Samaj' rally. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's on Thursday visited the family of slain Lal. Appealing for peace, Gehlot assured that no criminal would be spared irrespective of any religion or community.
Amid 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' 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 Kanhaiya Lal's murder.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) might take both the assailants to Delhi for interrogation, news agency IANS reported. The NIA is also seeking help from cyber and forensic teams to get details related to their social media, including posts and chats. Their links with Dawat-e-Islami are also being investigated. The agency has also taken five more suspects into custody.
Earlier on Tuesday, a purported video of the brutal act, recorded by the accused surfaced on social media. It showed the two men arriving at the shop of the victim, a tailor. While one of them gives measurements to the victim, the other records the events on his phone. Seconds later, the tailor gets ambushed and the duo attacks him with knives.
Two men, who identified themselves as Riyaz Akhtari and Ghaus Mohammad, slit Lal's throat and posted a video on social media where they claimed that they are avenging an insult to Islam. In another video, they threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lal had apparently supported the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on social media over her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad.
Rejecting Indian media reports linking the tailor's murder to Pakistan, the 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.