Prophet row: Duo hack tailor to death in Udaipur for backing Nupur Sharma

Representational image
Representational image.

Udaipur: Two men slit the throat of a tailor in Udaipur on Tuesday, saying in a video post on social media that they are avenging an insult to Islam and triggering communal tension in the Rajasthan city.

At 8 pm, curfew was declared till further orders in seven police station areas in the city as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed for calm.

The men who allegedly carried out the daylight murder posted videos online admitting to the crime and were taken into custody by police.

In a video clip, one of the purported assailants declared that they had beheaded the man and then threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

Indirectly, the assailants referred to Nupur Sharma, the BJP leader suspended from the party over a remark on Prophet Mohammad.

Kanhaiya Lal, the tailor, was recently arrested by the local police over some remarks made on social media by him.

Ghos Mohammad and Riyaz, the accused in the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal, in Udaipur, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. PHOTO: PTI

The assailants entered his shop in the city's Dhan Mandi area posing as customers. As the tailor took the measurements of one of them -- who later identified himself as Riaz -- attacked him with a cleaver. The other man shot the brutal murder with his mobile phone.

The two men fled from the scene and later uploaded the clip on social media. In another video, the alleged assailant said they beheaded the tailor and threatened the prime minister for lighting this fire.

As the videos circulated on social media, tension escalated. Shopkeepers in local markets downed shutters.

Shopkeepers stopped police from taking away the body, saying they will allow the removal of the corpse only after the murderers are arrested and a compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a government job are given to the victim's family.

On Twitter, CM Ashok Gehlot appealed to people to maintain peace and asked them not to share the videos.

"The guilty will not be spared. The entire police team is working on it with full alertness. I can imagine the anger which is there among people due to the murder. We are taking action accordingly," he told reporters in Jodhpur.

Udaipur Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar also promised strict action.

“A brutal murder has happened. Broadly, it seems to be a planned murder. We are discussing the demands put forth by the family members. Strict action will be taken against the criminals. I appeal to people to maintain peace," he said.

'Communal tension in country, PM should address people'

Gehlot said there is communal tension in the country and the prime minister should address the people.

He said both Hindus and Muslims are worried.

"It is more impactful if the prime minister speaks. I believe that the prime minister should address the country on this occasion and should make an appeal that we will not tolerate violence at any cost. What is the problem in saying so?" he said.

BJP state chief Satish Poonia targeted the Congress government in Rajasthan, saying that the murder was the result of its appeasement policy.

He said those seen in the video had threatened the victim on June 17.

The victim had asked for security but it was not given by the police, he claimed, adding that this indicated the state government's apathy.

"The situation in Rajasthan is such that Hindus are being attacked and murdered at many places. It is because of the politics of appeasement of CM Ashok Gehlot," Poonia told reporters.

Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria also condemned the incident and said he was reaching Udaipur Tuesday night.

Prohibitory orders imposed, mobile internet suspended across Rajasthan

The Rajasthan government has imposed prohibitory orders and suspended mobile internet service across the state in view of the communal tension in Udaipur.

Chief Secretary Usha Sharma has directed officials to suspend mobile internet service across the state for 24 hours and impose section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) -- preventing the assembly of more than four people -- in all districts of the state for a month.

Leaves of police and administration officials have also been cancelled.

Sharma chaired a high-level meeting with senior officers, including Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Abhay Kumar, Director General of Police M L Lather and others, to review the situation.

The chief secretary has directed all divisional commissioners, inspector generals of police and district collectors to take special vigil across the state, an official statement said.

MHA dispatches NIA team to Udaipur

The Union Home Ministry has dispatched a team of investigators of the anti-terror probe agency NIA to Udaipur in the wake of killing of a tailor there, officials said.

The case is likely to be handed over to the NIA for probe after registration of a case under the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Prima-facie it looks like a terror attack, an official said on condition of anonymity.

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